Posts Tagged country music birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (May 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 19
1894 ● Moms Mabley / (Loretta Mary Aitken) → Hugely successful stand-up comedienne from the vaudeville era with 17 charting albums in the 60s and one hit, a cover of “Abraham, Martin And John” (#35, R&B #18, 1969), for a time making her the oldest living person to have a Billboard Top 40 hit, died from heart failure on 5/23/1975, age 82
1932 ● Alma Cogan / (Alma Cohen) → 50s and early 60s rising star Brit traditional pop female vocalist, “Dreamboat” (UK #1, 1955) plus 20 other UK Top 40 hits, died of stomach cancer on 10/26/1966, age 34
1940 ● Mickey Newbury / (Milton Sims Newbury, Jr.) → Prolific country music songwriter with dozens of hit songs performed by others, including Top 20 songs on four charts simultaneously, “Here Comes the Rain, Baby” (Eddy Arnold, Country #4, 1968), “Sweet Memories” (Andy Williams, Easy Listening #4, 1968), “Time Is A Thief” (Solomon Burke, R&B #15, 1968) and “Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Pop #5, 1968), plus a solo hit single “An American Trilogy” (#26, 1972), died 9/29/2002, age 62
1945 ● Pete Townshend / (Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) → Guitarist, songwriter, rock opera composer and vocalist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967) and 14 other US Top 40 singles, rock opera albums Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973), Grammy-winning solo career, “Face The Face” (#26, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1947 ● Jerry Hyman → Trombonist for jazz-rock/pop-rock horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1947 ● Paul Brady → Irish folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist with The Johnstons and Planxty, then long solo career, “Nobody Knows” (1990)
1947 ● Gregory Herbert → Alto saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), died of a drug overdose on 1/31/1978, age 30
1947 ● Steve Currie → Bassist for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), sessions, died in a car crash on 4/28/1981, age 33
1948 ● Tom Scott → Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock multi-reedist, composer, session musician and bandleader, co-founder of the Blues Brothers Band and jazz-rock The L. A. Express, which backed Joni Mitchell, Carole King, George Harrison and others, solo “Tom Cat” (R&B #93, 1975), composer of film soundtracks and TV shows, including the theme song for Starsky And Hutch
1948 ● Paul Williams → Music journalist and writer, founder and editor of college-rag turned national publication Crawdaddy, the first journal to be entirely devoted to in-depth commentary about rock music and which started the careers of a generation of rock writers and critics, died from complications of a brain injury suffered in a 1995 bicycle accident on 3/27/2013 , age 64
1949 ● Dusty Hill / (Joe Michael Hill) → Bass, vocals and keyboards for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1950 ● Mike Wedgewood → Bassist for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1950 ● Romeo Challenger → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1951 ● Joey Ramone / (Jeffrey Hyman) → Cultural icon, lead vocals and songwriter for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died from lymphatic cancer on 4/15/2001, age 49
1952 ● Barbara Joyce Lomas → Vocals for 70s R&B/soul-funk-disco B.T. Express, “Do It (‘Til Your Satisfied)” (#2, R&B #1, 1974)
1952 ● Grace Jones / (Grace Mendoza) → Severely androgynous “Queen of the Gay Discos” and R&B/dance-pop-disco diva, “Pull Up To The Bumper” (R&B #5, Dance/Club #2, 1981), actress
1954 ● Phil Rudd / (Phillip Rudd) → Drummer for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982), left in 1983
1956 ● Teddy Bear Ware / (Martyn Ware) → Founding member of late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981), left to form 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1962 ● Iain Harvie → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for pop and country-rock Del Amitri, “Roll To Me” (#10, 1995)
1963 ● Yazz / (Yasmin Evans) → Brit dance-pop singer often credited as Yazz And The Plastic Population, “The Only Way Is Up” (#96, Dance/Club #2, 1988)
1965 ● Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot → Vocals for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Paul Hartnoll → With brother Phil, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1970 ● Stuart Cable → Original drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), left in 2003 and hosted cable TV show in Wales and BBC Radio Wales, choked to death on 6/7/2010
1972 ● Jenny Berggren → Singer and songwriter for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1992 ● Sam Smith / (Samuel Frederick Smith) → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/pop singer with the 2014 Song of the Year, “Stay With Me” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

May 20
1901 ● Jimmy Blythe / (James Louis Blythe) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1925 ● Vic Ames / (Victor Urick) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1940 ● Shorty Long / (Frederick Earl Long) → Overlooked Motown R&B/pop singer, “Here Comes The Judge” (#8, R&B #4, 1968), producer and song craftsman, drowned in a Detroit River boating accident on 6/29/1969
1942 ● Jill Jackson → Vocals in pop duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963)
1944 ● Joe Cocker / (John Robert Cocker) → Gravelly-voiced, blue-eyed soul pub-rock/blues-pop-rock vocalist and hard partying rock star, “A Little Help From My Friends” (#68, UK #1, 1968), “The Letter” (#7, 1970) and duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982), died from lung cancer on 12/22/14, age 70
1946 ● Cher / (Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre) → Singer and TV and film actress, first with husband Sonny Bono in pop-rock duo Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965) and later as a five-decade solo act with 33 charting singles (22 in the Top 4), including “Believe” (#1, 1999)
1950 ● Stephen Alex Broughton → Drummer for Brit blues-rock then prog rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1950 ● Andy Johns → Brit sound engineer and record producer, worked on albums by Free (Highway, 1970), The Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street, 1972), Television (Marquee Moon, 1977) and many others, died from complications of a stomach ulcer on 4/7/2013, age 62
1952 ● Warren Cann → Drummer for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Guy Hoffman / (Guy Edward Hoffman) → Drummer for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1954 ● Jimmy Henderson → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973)
1955 ● Steve George → Keyboardist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jane Wiedlin → Guitar, songwriting and vocals for top New Wave pop-rock all-girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat (#2, 1982) and solo, “Rush Hour” (#9, 1988)
1959 ● Susan Cowsill → Sub-teen vocalist for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, backing vocalist for various artists in the 80s, then formed alt country-rock supergroup Continental Drifters in 1991, solo
1961 ● Dan Wilson → Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, wrote “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), producer
1961 ● Nick Heyward → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1963 ● Nasher / (Brian Nash) → Backing vocals and guitarist for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Patti Russo / (Patricia Russo) → Singer/songwriter and actress best known as the female lead vocalist with Meat Loaf‘s touring band, Neverland Express from 1993 to 2013
1966 ● Tom Gorman → Guitarist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1967 ● Kit Clark → With brother Gary Clark, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1972 ● Busta Rhymes / (Trevor Smith, Jr.) → Grammy-nominated, idiosyncratic speed rapper, first with Leaders Of The New School, “What’s Next” (Rap #1, 1993), then solo, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check ” (#8, Rap #1, 1996)
1981 ● Sean Conlon → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1984 ● Naturi Naughton → Vocals for R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

May 21
1904 ● Fats Waller / (Thomas Wright Waller) → Jazz and ragtime pianist, co-wrote “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1929), the oft-covered classic now included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, died 12/15/1943 from pneumonia, age 39
1926 ● Al Grossman / (Albert Bernard Grossman) → Chicago folk club owner and later promoter and manager for Bob Dylan (1962-70), Peter, Paul & Mary, The Band, Paul Butterfield, Janis Joplin and others, built Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, NY and founded Bearsville Records, died of a heart attack while flying to London on the Concorde to sign unknown British rock singer on 1/25/1986, age 59
1928 ● Tom Donahue → Rock Hall of Fame-inducted pioneering “free format” FM rock DJ on KSAN (San Francisco) and other stations, night club owner, concert producer/promoter, record label executive, died of a heart attack on 4/28/1975
1940 ● Tony Sheridan / (Anthony McGinnity) → Britbeat pop-rock bandleader, frontman for The Beat Brothers and collaborator with The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 60s, recorded several tracks with the Fab Four, including “My Bonnie” in June 1961, which reached #5 in West Germany, retired from the music business in the mid-70s, died following heart surgery on 2/16/2013, age 72
1941 ● Ronald Isley → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1943 ● Hilton Valentine → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1943 ● John Dalton → Bass guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), replaced Pete Quaiffe in 1969, left the band in 1976 and periodically appears with the Kast Off Kinks
1943 ● Vincent Crane / (Vincent Cheesman) → Keyboards and songwriter for Brit psych-rock The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#12, 1987), left with bandmate Carl Palmer to form prog/art rock Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (UK #4, 1971), died from an overdose of painkillers on 2/14/1989, age 45
1944 ● Marcie Blaine / (Marcia Blank) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Bobby’s Girl” (#3, 1962)
1947 ● Bill Champlin → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and frontman for psych-rock Sons Of Champlin, joined pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “You’re The Inspiration” (#3, 1984) in 1981 and has played and toured with the band since, also solo and side projects
1948 ● Leo Sayer / (Gerard Hugh Sayer) → Grammy-winning blue-eyed R&B/pop-disco singer, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Marc Ribot → Multi-genre guitarist and composer, session work for dozens of artists from Norah Jones to Elvis Costello to Tom Waits, member of New York City avant-garde The Lounge Lizards
1955 ● Stan Lynch → Drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989)
1963 ● Kevin Shields → Founding member and guitarist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1963 ● Tim Lever → Keyboards for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Martin Blunt → Bass for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1972 ● The Notorious B.I.G. / (Christopher Wallace) → Street hustler turned East Coast hip hop star, “Mo Money Mo Problems” (#1, 1997), murdered in a drive-by shooting in L.A. on 3/9/1997, age 24
1975 ● Lee Gaze → Lead guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1978 ● Adam Wade Gontier → Lead singer and guitarist in Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1985 ● Mutya Buena → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), quit the group in 2005 for solo, “Real Girl” (UK #2, 2006)

May 22
1924 ● Charles Aznavour / (Shahnour Aznavourian) → The “French Frank Sinatra”, world-known French-Armenian music hall singer, songwriter, actor and diplomat, “She” (UK #1, 1974)
1930 ● Jimmy Keyes → Founding member and first tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop The Chords, one of the earliest black groups to cross over to the pop charts with “Sh-Boom” (#9, R&B #3, 1954), died on 7/22/1995, age 65
1937 ● Kenny Ball → Brit traditional jazz trumpeter and bandleader, Kenny Ball & His Jazzman, “Midnight In Moscow” (#2, 1962)
1941 ● Bruce Rowlands → Drummer in Joe Cocker‘s backing group The Grease Band, then joined renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969)
1941 ● Jackie Jackson / (Jackie Landry Jackson) → Vocals for early R&B/pop girl group trio The Chantels, “Maybe” (#15, R&B #2, 1958), one of the definitive songs of the genre, became a stenographer in the Bronx (NY) court system following her music career, died from breast cancer on 12/23/1997, age 56
1942 ● Calvin Simon → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Parliaments, “(I Wanna) Testify” (#20, R&B #3, 1967), then R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● Chris Butler → Lead guitarist and chief songwriter for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), solo and record producer/executive
1950 ● Bernie Taupin → Lyricist and renowned songwriting partner of Elton John with dozens of collaborative hits, also co-wrote Jefferson Starship‘s “We Built This City” (#1, 1985), Heart‘s “These Dreams” ( #1, 1986), and songs for Rod Stewart, Cher, The Motels, John Waite, Alice Cooper and multiple others
1954 ● Jerry Dammers → Founding member and keyboard play for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), producer and co-founder of 2 Tone Records
1955 ● Iva Davies → Welsh singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer and film score composer, frontman for Aussie New Wave synth-pop/pub rock Icehouse, “Electric Blue” (#7, 1987)
1955 ● Mary Black → Irish folk and contemporary pop-rock-blues singer and songwriter, “Columbus” (1989)
1959 ● Morrissey / (Steven Patrick Morrissey) → Vocalist and lyricist, frontman for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984), solo, “Suedehead” (UK #5, 1988) and over 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1962 ● Jesse Valenzuela → Vocals and guitar for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1966 ● Johnny Gill → R&B/hip hop “new jack swing” singer, “Super Love” (#29, 1983), joined New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), returned to solo recording, “Rub You The Right Way” (#3, 1990)
1967 ● Dan Roberts → Bassist for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1979 ● Russell Pritchard → Bass guitarist for Brit indie rock The Zutons, “Valerie” (UK #9, 2006)
1981 ● Su-Elise Nash → Vocals in “UK urban” R&B/dance-pop trio Mis-Teeq, “One Night Stand” (Dance/Club #4, 2004), now a performing arts school director

May 23
1910 ● Artie Shaw / (Arthur Jacob Arshawsky) → Big Band-era bandleader, composer and one of the most-renowned clarinetists of all time, his version of Cole Porter‘s “Begin The Beguine” (#3, 1938) is one of the most popular and enduring songs of the Swing Era, retired from touring in the early 50s, returned briefly in the mid-80s and died of natural causes on 12/30/2004, age 94
1918 ● Bumps Blackwell / (Robert Blackwell) → Early rock ‘n’ roll and soul music producer, Specialty Records executive, managed Little Richard and co-wrote several hits, including “Long Tall Sally” (#6, R&B #1, 1956), guided multiple other R&B/soul acts including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Sly & The Family Stone, died of pneumonia on 1/27/1985, age 66
1921 ● Humphrey Lyttleton → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter, composer and BBC Radio 4 host, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died of an aortic aneurysm on 4/25/2008, age 86
1928 ● Rosemary Clooney → Immensely popular 40s-50s adult pop singer, “Mangos” (#10, 1957), stage and film actress, died of lung cancer on 7/29/2002, age 74
1933 ● Gary Burden → Grammy-winning designer of music album covers for many rock and pop luminaries, including The Doors, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, as well as 40 covers for Neil Young beginning with After The Gold Rush (1970) and continuing for over 35 years, died from undisclosed causes on 3/7/2018, age 84
1934 ● Robert Moog → Keyboard musician and inventor of the synthesizer, built his first electronic instrument – the Theremin – at age 14 and in 1970 produced the MiniMoog “the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,” died on 8/21/2005 four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer, age 71
1941 ● General Norman Johnson → Frontman and lead singer for R&B/soul-pop Chairmen Of The Board, “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970), left for a successful songwriting career, including the Grammy-winning “Patches” for Clarence Carter (#4, R&B #2, 1971) and “Want Ads” for Honey Cone (#1, R&B #1, 1971), died from lung cancer on 10/13/2010, age 69
1944 ● Tiki Fulwood / (Raymond Fulwood) → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from stomach cancer on 10/29/1979, age 35
1945 ● Misty Morgan → With husband Jack Blanchard, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s
1946 ● Danny Klein → Bassist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1946 ● Ruth Underwood / (Ruth Komanoff) → Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and general percussionist for Frank Zappa and his backing band, The Mothers Of Invention (“Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” 1967) in the 60s and 70s, also did session work for pop-rock Ambrosia, jazz-fusion George Duke and others, retired from music in the 80s
1947 ● Bill Hunt → Horns and keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Rick Fenn → Guitarist and vocals for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), session work with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman and others
1955 ● Jim Mankey → Guitarist with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1955 ● Thereza Bazar → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with David Van Day, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo
1957 ● Jimmy McShane → Irish-born frontman and lead singer for Italian New Wave synth-pop Baltimora, “Tarzan Boy” (#13, UK #6, 1985), died from AIDS-related causes on 3/29/1995, age 37
1965 ● Simon Gilbert → Drummer in Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1967 ● Junior Waite / (Frederick Waite, Jr.) → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1967 ● Phil Selway → Drummer for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1970 ● Matt Flynn → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004) since 2006, previously played with The B-52’s, Chicago and others
1973 ● Maxwell / (Gerald Maxwell Rivera) → Leading R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fortunate” (#4, R&B #1, 1999)
1974 ● Jewel / (Jewel Kilcher) → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Were Meant For Me” (#3, 1997)
1974 ● Richard Jones → Bassist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1978 ● Mad Dog / (Scott Raynor) → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1983 ● Heidi Range → Original member and vocalist for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000), then multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

May 24
1928 ● Max Bennett → Jazz and rock bass guitarist, session musician and bandleader, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played on numerous albums by The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa and many others, co-founded the jazz-rock L.A. Express in the 70s and currently fronts Private Label
1938 ● Tommy Chong → Canadian-American comedian, TV and film actor, voice artist, director and one-half the groundbreaking stoner duo Cheech & Chong, “Santa Claus And His Old Lady” (#3, 1972), performed in various venues with and without his comedic partner through to their reunion in the 00s, became the oldest contestant to make the semi-finals on Dancing With The Stars in September 2014
1938 ● Prince Buster / (Cecil Bustamonte Campbell) → One of the most important figures in the development of ska and rocksteady music in Jamaica and beyond, hugely influential reggae/ska perfumer, producer and solo artist over a nearly 40 year career, scored UK (“Al Capone,” UK #18, 1967) and US hits (“Ten Commandments Of Man,” #81, R&B #17, 1967), dropped out of the industry in the late 70s and recorded and performed only sporadically up to his death following a stroke on 9/8/2016, age 78
1941 ● Bob Dylan / (Robert Allen Zimmerman) → Vastly influential and popular folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist with 29 Top 20 albums and five Top 20 singles, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965)
1941 ● Tony Valentino / (Emilio Bellissimo) → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured and performed with the band into the 80s, now an L.A.-area restaurateur
1942 ● Derek Quinn → Guitar and harmonica for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Patti LaBelle (Patricia Holt) / (Patricia Holt) → Soul diva and the “Queen of Rock and Soul”, first with R&B/gospel-doo wop The Blue Belles, “Down The Aisle (The Wedding Song)” (#37, R&B #14, 1963), then as frontwoman for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), then a long solo career, including a duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (#1, 1986) and a comeback single “New Day” (Dance/Club #11, 2004)
1945 ● Dave Peacock → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Steve Upton → Drummer (1970-1989) for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1947 ● Albert Bouchard → Drummer, guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1947 ● Plaster Caster / (Cynthia Caster) → Rock groupie known for making plaster casts of rock star’s penises and breasts, including Jimi Hendrix and members of MC5, Television, The Kinks, various road managers and other rock stars
1947 ● Waddy Wachtel / (Robert Wachtel) → High-profile L.A. session musician, composer and record producer, worked in the studio and on tour with Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne and many others, composed scores for multiple films, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs and produced dozens of records by artists from Bryan Ferry to Warren Zevon
1955 ● Rosanne Cash → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Seven Year Ache” (#22, Country #1, 1981), daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash
1956 ● Larry Blackmon → Leader, drummer, producer and principal songwriter for R&B/funk Cameo, “Word Up” (#6, 1986)
1960 ● Guy Fletcher → Multi-instrumentalist with prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), session work for Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and others
1962 ● Gene Anthony Ray → Actor, dancer and choreographer, played “Leroy’ in the movie and TV series Fame, danced on The Weather Girls‘ video of “It’s Raining Men,” died from a stroke related to HIV on 11/14/2003, age 41
1967 ● Heavy D / (Dwight Myers) → Rapper, singer and MC for R&B/hip hop The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” (#11, 1991), moved to reggae-rap fusion, died after collapsing outside his L.A. condo on 11/8/2011, age 44
1969 ● Rich Robinson → Guitarist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1969 ● Tommy Page → Twelve-album, one hit wonder dance-teen-pop singer, “I’ll Be Your Everything” (#1, 1990), producer
1976 ● Alessandro Cortini → Keyboards for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1988 ● Billy Gilman → Country-pop singer and youngest Country Top 20 artist in history, “One Voice” (#38, Country #20, 2000)

May 25
1921 ● Hal David → Pop/MOR lyricist, co-wrote dozens of hits, often in collaboration with composer Burt Bacharach, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” for the Carpenters (#1, 1970), “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969), died from a stroke on 9/1/2012, age 91
1922 ● Kitty Kallen / (Katherine Kalinsky) → Pop vocalist with 21 Top 40 hits in the 40s and 50s, including “Little Things Mean A Lot” (#1, 1954), retired from singing in 1955 to nurse paralyzed vocal cords but returned in 1959 to score two additional hits before Beatlemania sank her career
1927 ● Norman Petty → Musician and record producer best known for his work in the 50s with Buddy Holly and his backing band, The Crickets, as coach, recording engineer, producer, band manager and occasional co-writer of numerous hit songs, including “Peggy Sue” (#3, 1957), also fronted his own band and produced albums for Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs and others, died from leukemia on 8/15/1984, age 57
1927 ● Paul Oliver / (Paul Hereford Oliver) → Brit architectural historian whose sideline interest in blues music led him to author several early and authoirtative books on the subject, including “The Story Of The Blues” (1969), wrote multiple biographies and narratives about indigenous American music over 40 years, left an unfinished 1,400 page manuscript on Texas blues when he died from natural causes on 8/15/2017, age 90
1936 ● Tom T. Hall → Grammy-winning country storytelling songwriter and singer, wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.” for Jeannie C. Riley (#1, 1968) and as a solo artist recorded 21 Country Top 10 hits, including “I Love” (#12, Country #1, 1973)
1936 ● Donnie Elbert → R&B/Northern soul singer with a lone 50s minor hit, “What Can I Do?” (#61, R&B #12, 1957), left for the UK and recorded there with some success in the 60s, returned to the US in 1970 and had eight charting singles in eight years, including “Where Did Our Love Go” (#15, R&B #6, 1971), died of a stroke on 1/26/1989, age 52
1942 ● Blinky Davison / (Brian Davison) → Drummer for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968), prog rock Refugee and space-rock Gong, died 4/15/2008, age 65
1943 ● Jessi Colter / (Miriam Johnson) → Singer/songwriter and lone female star from the “outlaw country” genre, “I’m Not Lisa” (#4, Country #1, 1975), wife of Waylon Jennings, teamed with Waylon, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser on the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country music album to sell over a million copies
1943 ● Poli Palmer / (John Michael Palmer) → Piano and vibraphone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1945 ● Dave Lee Travis / (David Patrick Griffin) → BBC Radio 1 and TV host, with fellow DJ Paul Burnette released “Convoy GB” (UK #4, 1976) as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, a parody of . McCall‘s “Convoy” (#1, Country #1, 1975)
1947 ● Mitch Margo / (Mitchell Stuart Margo) → Tenor vocals and piano for blue-eyed R&B/doo-wop group The Tokens, was just 14 years old when the band released it’s biggest hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961), later helped produce albums for the Chiffons and Tony Orlando & Dawn, wrote songs for others, including “Laugh ” (1967) for The Monkees and “Slow Dance” (1989) for The Carpenters, performed with various Tokens lineups, composed TV scores and painted for album covers and children’s books until his death from natural causes on 11/24/2017, age 70
1948 ● Klaus Meine → Lead vocals and frontman for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1949 ● Clarence Burke Jr. → With his four siblings, lead singer in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps “O-o-h Child” (#7, R&B #14, 1970), worked with Billy Preston and George Harrison‘s Dark Horse label, reformed the Stairsteps with two brothers as R&B/disco The Invisible Man’s Band (“All Night Thing,” Dance/Club #10, 1980), continued to perform until just before his death from undisclosed causes on 5/26/2013, age 64
1950 ● Jean Millington → Vocals and guitar with sister June in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny (“Butter Boy,” #29, 1975), one of the earliest women-only rock bands and the first to release an album on a major record label (Fanny, Reprise, 1970), broke up in 1975 but continued to record and perform with her sister as a duet and in various Fanny reunions, including as Fanny Walks The Earth with an eponymous album in 2018.
1950 ● Robby Steinhardt / (Robert Eugene Steinhardt) → Co-lead singer and violinist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), solo
1951 ● Chuck Ruff / (Charles Frederick Carson Ruff) → Rock drummer best known as a founding member of hard rock Edgar Winter Group (“Frankenstein,” #1, 1973 and “Free Ride,” #14, 1973), later played on albums by Sammy Hagar (“Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” (#13, 1983) and worked in various solo and collaboration bands, died after a long illness on 10/14/2011, age 60
1955 ● John Grimaldi → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972)
1958 ● Paul Weller / (John William Weller) → Co-founder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for punk rock/modcon trio The Jam, “Going Underground” (UK #1, 1980), then co-founded sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “Peacock Suit” (UK #5, 1996) and 28 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Rick Smith / (Richard Smith) → Keyboards for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1975 ● Lauryn Hill → Grammy-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter with R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Doo Wop (That Thing” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Joe King → Co-founder, guitar, backing vocals and songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 28 – May 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 28
1941 ● Ann-Margret / (Ann-Margret Olsson) → Swedish-American pop singer and stage, film and TV actress known more for her performances in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964) with Elvis Presley, Tommy (1975) as “Mrs. Walker” and over 60 other roles, also charted seven songs, including “I Just Don’t Understand” (#17, 1961) and “Love Rush” (Dance #8, 1979), continues to appear in movies and on TV into her late 70s
1941 ● Peter Anders / (Peter Andreoli) → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Fantastic Johnny C. / (John Corley) → Gospel turned R&B/soul one hit wonder singer, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” (#7, R&B #5, 1968)
1945 ● John Wolters → Drummer for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits, died of liver cancer on 6/16/1997, age 52
1946 ● Beverly Ann Bivens → Co-founder and lead singer for folk-pop harmony group We Five (“You Were On My Mind,” #3, AC #1, 1965), left the music industry when the group broke up in 1967
1947 ● Peaches Barker / (Francine Hurd “Peaches” Barker) → One half of R&B/soul-pop vocal duo Peaches & Herb, “Let’s Fall In Love” (R&B #11, 1966), died on 8/13/2005, age 58
1949 ● Steve Gilpin → Co-founder and lead vocalist for Mi-Sex, one of the most popular New Wave bands in Australia and New Zealand from the 70s to the late 90s, “Computer Games (AUS #1, 1979), died following a car accident on 1/6/1992, age 42
1952 ● Chuck Leavell / (Charles Alfred Leavell) → Piano and keyboards for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), session musician and keyboardist for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and others
1953 ● Kim Gordon → Bassist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1955 ● Eddie Jobson → Violin for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974) and prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976)
1956 ● Jimmy Barnes → Lead vocals for hugely popular Aussie pub rock/blues-rock Cold Chisel, “My Baby” (Mainstream Rock #32, 1981), then successful solo career with seven Australia #1 albums
1958 ● Enid Williams → Founding member, vocals and bass guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1966 ● Too Short / (Todd Shaw) → Successful solo 80-90s West Coast rap star, “The Ghetto” (Rap #3, 1990), came out of “early retirement” with “More Freaky Tales” (Rap #3, 1999) and subsequent solo and collaboration hits
1968 ● Daisy Berkowitz / (Scott Mitchell Putesky) → Guitarist and co-founder of industrial-pop-metal Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later collaborated with alt rock Jack Off Jill
1968 ● Howard Donald → Drummer, pianist, singer and dancer for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), solo work, then reformed Take That, “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1973 ● Big Gipp / (Cameron Gipp) → Southern rapper, member of Goodie Mob, solo album plus collaborative work with Ali, Nelly, Outkast and others

April 29
1899 ● Duke Ellington / (Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington) → Jazz composer, 50-year bandleader, film score and stage musical writer/producer, unquestioned giant of American popular music, “Take The ‘A’ Train” (1941), died from lung cancer and pneumonia on 5/24/1974, age 75
1915 ● Donald Mills → Lead tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, continued to perform until he was the last remaining brother, then toured with his son until his death on 11/13/1999, age 84
1927 ● Big Jay McNeely / (Cecil James McNeely) → Early and influential tenor saxophonist whose “honking” style and flamboyant stage presence helped place the saxophone front and center in the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll before the electric guitar took over in the mid-50s, issued two dozen albums and several charting singles, including the instrumental “Deacon’s Hop” (R&B #1, 1949) and the ballad “There Is Something On Your Mind” (R&B Top 10, 1959), continued to record and tour, mostly in Europe, into the 10s, died from prostate cancer on 9/16/2018, age 91
1928 ● Carl Gardner → Lead tenor and 50-year soul vocalist, first for R&B/soul-doo wop The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), then with offshoot soul-pop The Coasters as lead singer, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and “Charlie Brown” (#2, 1959), fronted the group until his death from a heart attack on 6/12/2011, age 83
1931 ● Lonnie Donegan / (Anthony James Donegan) → English rock ‘n’ roll pioneer singer who launched the skiffle craze, “Rock Island Line” (#8, 1956), plus over 30 UK Top 40 singles, died from a heart attack shortly before a scheduled appearance with The Rolling Stones in a memorial to George Harrison on 11/3/2002, age 71
1933 ● Willie Nelson / (Willie Hugh Nelson) → Country-pop songwriter turned Grammy-winning “outlaw” country superstar, “On The Road Again” (#20, Country #1, 1980)
1933 ● Rod McKuen / (Rodney Marvin McKuen) → The “unofficial poet laureate of America,” poet, lyricist, songwriter and bridge between the 50s Beat generation and the 70s New Age movement, released dozens of books of poetry and over 100 albums of vocal and spoken-word music, most of which was commercially successful if not critically-acclaimed, his over 1,500 songs were covered by Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Barbara Streisand and many others, died from respiratory failure caused by pneumonia on 1/29/2015, age 81
1935 ● Otis Rush / (Otis Rush, Jr.) → Innovative and influential “West Side” Chicago blues guitarist, tenor singer and songwriter (“I Can’t Quit You Baby,” R&B #6, 1956), penned the oft-covered masterpiece “Double Trouble” (1958), from which Stevie Ray Vaughan derived his band’s name, inducted into the Blue Hall of Fame in 1984, won a Grammy Award in 1999 and named #53 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists in 2015, died from complications of a 2003 stroke on 9/29/2018, age 83
1936 ● Albee Cracolici → Baritone vocals for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Mystics, “Hushabye” (1959)
1936 ● April Stevens / (Carol LoTempio) → Grammy-winning pop singer, duet with Nino Tempo (her brother Antonio), “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963)
1942 ● Emma Pought / (Emma Pought Patron) → With her teenage sister, Jannie and three other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s
1942 ● Klaus Voorman → Grammy-winning German musician, producer and artist, bassist for Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), session musician for the Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Lou Reed, Harry Nilsson and others, designed album covers for The Beatles (Revolver) and others
1942 ● Vincent Poncia, Jr. → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Duane Allen → Vocals for long-running country/gospel/folk harmony quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981)
1944 ● June LeBell / (June Wendie LeBell) → Professional concert soprano who became one of the first women to be hired as an on-air announcer and interviewer in the male-dominated commercial classical music radio industry, over a 30-year career became a revered and respected personality on WQXR in New York, died from ovarian cancer on 4/30/2017, age 73
1945 ● Tammi Terrell / (Thomasina Winifred Montgomery) → R&B/soul vocalist for Motown, performed solo and frequently in duets with Marvin Gaye, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), died from a brain tumor on 3/16/1970, age 24
1945 ● Hugh Hopper → Founding member and bass guitarist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine and other related bands in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, issued two obscure solo albums, died from leukemia on 6/7/2009, age 64
1947 ● Joel Larson → Session drummer with The Turtles, Lee Michaels and others, played with AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1947 ● Tommy James / (Thomas Gregory Jackson) → Frontman and lead vocals for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Michael Karoli → Founding member, guitarist and violinist for influential experimental/kraut rock Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from cancer on 11/17/2001, age 53
1953 ● King Boy D / (Bill Drummond) → South African-born, Scottish-raised experimental/ambient music composer and producer, record company executive and A&R man, writer, musician with punk-rock Big In Japan, formed art rock KLF, “3 A.M. Eternal” (#5, 1990)
1958 ● Simon Edwards → Guitarrón player for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988)
1960 ● Phil King → Bass guitar and backing vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1968 ● Carnie Wilson → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of The Beach BoysBrian Wilson
1969 ● Master P / (Percy Miller) → New Orleans-based hip hop/gangsta rap star, No Limit record company founder, “I Got The Hook Up” (#16, Rap #1, 1998)
1973 ● Mike Hogan → Bass and rhythm guitars for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1979 ● Joanne Velda O’Meara → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1979 ● Matt Tong → Drums and backing vocals for Brit indie rock Bloc Party, “The Prayer” (UK #4, 2007)
1980 ● Kian Egan → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1981 ● Tom Smith → Bass guitar for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

April 30
1896 ● Rev. Gary Davis → Highly-regarded ragtime, folk, gospel and blues guitarist with a unique thumb-and-index-finger style, influenced Bob Dylan, Donovan and Taj Mahal, mentor to David Bromberg, Ry Cooder and Jorma Kaukonen, died following a heart attack on 5/5/1972, age 76
1917 ● Bea Wain / (Beatrice Ruth Wain) → Big Band-era singer with The Larry Clinton Orchestra, recorded four Number 1 hits, including “Heart And Soul” (1939) and “Deep Purple” (1939), left for a solo career after being voted most popular female vocalist in a Billboard college poll, hosted radio talk and music show “Mr. And Mrs. Music” with her husband, radio announcer André Baruch, in New York and Florida from the 40s to the 70s, died from congestive heart failure on 8/19/2017, age 100
1925 ● Johnny Horton → Country/honky tonk historical singer and songwriter, “The Battle of New Orleans” (#1, 1958), died in a car crash while returning home from a concert performance on 11/4/1960, age 35
1929 ● Will Holt → Singer, songwriter, lyricist and librettist, best known for a variety of Broadway shows, including Over Here!, Me And Bessie and Music Is, and for penning the Latin-tinged folk-pop song “Lemon Tree,” which was recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary (#35, AC #12, 1962), among others, and use as an advertising jingle by aerosol furniture polish Lemon Pledge, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 5/31/2015, age 86
1930 ● Bill Buchanan → With partner Dickie Goodman, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), songwriter and producer, died from cancer on 8/1/1996, age 34
1931 ● Peter La Farge / (Oliver Albee La Farge) → Native American-descendant 50s and 60s Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter, contemporary of Bob Dylan, wrote or co-wrote numerous songs with Johnny Cash, including “The Ballad Of Ira Hayes” (Country #3, 1964), died of a Thorazine overdose on 10/27/1965, age 34
1936 ● Bobby Gregg / (Robert J. Grego) → Frontman for one hit wonder instrumental rock group Bobby Gregg And His Friends (“The Jam – Part I,” #29, R&B #14, 1962) and session drummer best known for playing on multiple Bob Dylan hits, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965), died of natural causes on 5/3/2014, age 78
1941 ● Johnny Farina → Electric guitar for pop-rock brother duo Santo & Johnny, best known for the guitar instrumental “Sleepwalk” (#1, 1959)
1943 ● Bobby Vee / (Robert Thomas Velline) → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with thirty-eight charting singles, ten of which reached the Top 20, including “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (#1, 1961), his career started when his garage band filled-in at a Fargo, ND dance for the deceased Buddy Holly the night after the Iowa plane crash that killed Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.R. “The Big Bopper’ Richardson in February 1959, continued to perform until contracting Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, died from complications of the disease on 10/24/2016, age 73
1944 ● Richard Shoff → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1945 ● Mimi Fariña / (Margarita Baez) → Folk singer/songwriter, duets with husband Richard Fariña in the early 60s, then solo after his death in a motorcycle accident, social activist, younger sister of Joan Baez, died of cancer on 7/18/2001, age 56
1947 ● Colonel Bruce Hampton / (Bruce Hampton) → Energetic guitarist, singer and frontman for several eclectic rock bands, widely recognized as an innovator in the creation of improvisational, genre-crossing jam-band music while fronting the Hampton Grease Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Code Talkers and others, over the decades his bands opened for jam band leaders The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Phish, Dave Matthews Band and many others, collapsed on stage toward the end of a 70th birthday concert in Atlanta and was pronounced dead on 5/1/2017, age 70
1948 ● Wayne Kramer → Guitarist for Detroit proto-punk/garage rockers MC5, “Kick Out The Jams” (#82, 1969), solo
1951 ● Des Tong → Bassist for Brit soft pop-rock Sad Cafe, “Every Day Hurts” (UK #3, 1979)
1953 ● Merrill Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1958 ● Wonder Mike / (Michael Anthony Wright) → Old school rapper and member of the hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” (#36, R&B #4, 1980) became the first hip hop song to reach the Billboard Top 40
1962 ● Robert Reynolds → Founding member and bassist for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1967 ● Turbo B / (Durron Maurice Bulter) → Frontman and rapper for electronic/beatbox Snap!, “The Power” (#2, Rap #1, 1990), then solo and co-founder of Centory
1968 ● Ben Ayres → Guitar and vocals for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1969 ● Paulo “Destructor”, Jr. / (Paulo Xisto Pinto, Jr.) → Bassist and only remaining original member of Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996)
1971 ● Choc Dalyrimple / (Christopher Dalyrimple) → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1971 ● Christopher Henderson → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1971 ● Darren Emerson → DJ, keyboards and tranceman for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1972 ● J.R. Richards → Songwriter and lead singer for melodic hard rock Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars” (#15, 1996), solo
1973 ● Jeff Timmons → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1981 ● Justin Vernon → Singer, songwriter and founding member of Grammy-winning indie folk-pop Bon Iver, the 2012 Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album Bon Iver, Bon Iver
1982 ● Cleopatra Madonna Higgins → Vocals and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Lloyd Banks / (Christopher Lloyd) → Rapper and vocals with 50 Cent and Tony Yayo in rap trio G-Unit, “Stunt 101” (#13, Rap #5, 2003), later solo, “On Fire” (#8, Rap #3, 2004)
1987 ● Nikki Webster → Aussie pop singer and model, “Strawberry Kisses” (Australian #2, 2001), sang at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics opening ceremony
1989 ● Baauer / (Harry Bauer Rodrigues) → Emo, dance and trap and bass music one hit wonder producer, “Harlem Shake” (#1, 2013)

May 01
1891 ● Charley Patton → The “Father of Delta Blues,” influential Mississippi Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, his “Pony Blues” (1929) is included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, died on 4/28/1934, age 43
1907 ● Kate Smith / (Kathryn Elizabeth Smith) → The “First Lady of Radio,” a contrello singer and media star in the 40s and 50s, best known for her booming renditions of “God Bless America”, died from diabetes-related respiratory arrest on 6/17/1986, age 79
1924 ● Big Maybelle / (Mabel Louise Smith) → R&B singer known for her early version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1955) and the hit “Candy” (R&B #11, 1956), died in a diabetic coma on 1/23/1972, age 47
1929 ● Sonny James / (James Hugh Loden) → The “Southern Gentleman”, country-pop crooner/songwriter, “Young Love” (#1, Country #1, 1957), scored a five-year run of 16 back-to-back #1 country hits (among 23 total #1’s and 72 country chart hits from the late 50s through the early 80s), died of natural causes on 2/22/2016, age 87
1930 ● Little Walter / (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Innovative blues harpist (“My Babe,” R&B #1, 1955) and the first to amplify the harmonica, developed the distorted echoing sound and became the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee specifically for work with the harmonica, died from a coronary blood clot on 2/15/1968, age 37
1939 ● Judy Collins / (Judith Marjorie Collins) → Interpretative folk singer and occasional songwriter best known for her version of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” (#8, 1968)
1945 ● Rita Coolidge → Versatile Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” (#2, 1977), backing vocals for Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie and others, married to singer/actor Kris Kristofferson (1973 – 1980)
1945 ● Carson Whitsett → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, Stax and Malaco Records session musician, worked with or wrote songs for Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Etta James and many others, including the adult Contemporary hit “Why Not Me” for Fred Knobloch (#18, AC #1, 1980), died from brain cancer on 5/8/2007, age 62
1945 ● Reather Dixon / (Reather Dixon Turner) → With four other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s, died from cardiac arrest on 1/7/2014, age 69
1946 ● Jerry Weiss → Trumpet and flugelhorn player and founding member of jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), left by 1970 for an unsuccessful solo career
1946 ● Nick Fortuna → Bassist for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967)
1954 ● Ray Parker, Jr. → Guitarist, songwriter, producer and bandleader, sessions with The Spinners, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and others, formed Raydio in 1977, “Jack And Jill” (#8, 1978), wrote and performed the movie theme song “Ghostbusters” (#1, 1984)
1957 ● Rick Driscoll → Guitar and vocals for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1957 ● Steve Farris → Guitarist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1959 ● Phillip Smith → Saxophone for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Owen Paul / (Owen Paul McGee) → Scottish pop-rock singer, “My Favourite Waste Of Time” (UK #3, 1986), sessions and touring with Mike + The Mechanics
1966 ● Johnny Colt → Original bassist for raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), left to form rock trio Brand New Immortals, then modern rock Train, “Drops Of Jupiter” (#5, 2001)
1967 ● Tim McGraw / (Samuel Timothy Smith) → Hugely popular Grammy-winning neo-traditional country star with 22 country #1 hits, including “It’s Your Love” (Country #1, 1997), husband of Faith Hill and son of former baseball pitcher Tug McGraw
1968 ● D’Arcy Wretsky-Brown → Bass guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1970 ● Bernard Butler → Guitar and vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996), solo, duet with David McAlmont, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1977 ● Dan Regan → Trombone and vocals for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), currently in hip hop side project under the pseudonym Black Casper
1978 ● Nick Traina / (Nicholas John Steel Toth) → Son of author Danielle Steel and lead singer for punk band Link 80, died from a self-administered morphine overdose on 9/20/1997, age 19
1978 ● Chris Kelly → Vocals for teenage rap sensation Kris Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992), partner Chris Smith and he were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song, died from a suspected drug overdose on 5/1/2013, age 35

May 02
1924 ● Theodore Bikel → Austrian-American actor and respected folk singer/songwriter, appeared in numerous West End London and Broadway shows, feature films and TV shows, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and issued multiple albums of mostly Jewish folk songs, current president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and former president of the Actor’s Equity
1929 ● Link Wray / (Frederick Lincoln Wray) → Rock and rockabilly guitarist and bandleader, “fuzz” and power chord guitar pioneer, “Rumble” (#16, 1958), Rolling Stone magazine’s 67th greatest guitarist of all time, died of heart failure on 11/5/2005, age 76
1933 ● Bunk Gardner / (John Gardner) → Reeds and woodwinds for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), backing band for Zappa‘s solo albums, reformed as Grandmothers in 80s
1936 ● Engelbert Humperdinck / (Arnold George Dorsey) → The “King of Romance”, MOR crooner and balladeer with 13 Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, “After The Lovin'” (#8, 1977)
1944 ● Bob Henrit → Journeyman Brit drummer for art/hard rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), joined The Kinks in 1984, “Do It Again” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1984), session work for Dave Davies, Leo Sayer and others
1945 ● Bianca Jagger / (Bianca Perez-Morena De Macias Jagger) → Wife of Mick Jagger, social activist, actress, fashion icon
1945 ● Goldy McJohn / (John Raymond Goadsby) → Keyboards for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1945 ● Judge Dread / (Alexander Minto Hughes) → Blue-eyed ska and reggae singer with six UK Top 15 singles, including “Big Six” (UK #1, 1972) and a record 11 songs banned from the BBC, collapsed and died from a heart attack while leaving the stage following a performance in Canterbury, England on 3/13/1998, age 52
1945 ● Randy Cain → Vocals for “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), formed pop-soul Blue Magic, “Sideshow” (#8, R&B #1, 1974), died at home from undisclosed causes on 4/9/2009, age 63
1946 ● Lesley Gore / (Lesley Goldstein) → Girl Group-era solo teenage pop singer/songwriter who had four Top 10 hits when she was 17 years old, “It’s My Party” (#1, 1963), “Judy’s Turn To Cry” (#5, 1963), “She’s A Fool” (#5, 1963) and “You Don’t Own Me” (#2, 1964), continued to record and write songs into the 00s, hosted the PBS television series In The Life promoting LGBT issues, died from lung cancer on 2/16/2015, age 68
1948 ● Larry Gatlin / (Larry Wayne Gatlin) → Country-pop solo star in the 70s with 10 Country Top 40 hits, then frontman for Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured and performed as a trio into the 00s, continues to tour as a solo acoustic act in the 10s
1950 ● Lou Gramm / (Louis Grammatico) → Vocals for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), then formed Christian-rock Lou Gramm Band
1951 ● John Glascock → Bassist in prog rock quintet Carmen, left in 1975 to join Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), died from complications of a genetic heart valve condition on 11/17/1979, age 28
1954 ● Prescott Niles → Bassist for pop-rock The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Jo Callis / (John William Callis) → Synthesizer, keyboards and guitar for punk rock Rezillos, wrote “Top Of The Pops” (UK #17, 1978), then joined New Wave synth-pop Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1961 ● Dr. Robert / (Bruce Robert Howard) → Lead singer, guitar, piano and songwriter for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1962 ● Alain Johannes / (Alain Johannes Moschulski) → Multi-instrumentalist musician and founding member of 90s alt rock Eleven (“Rainbows End,” 1991), later producer for hard rock Queens Of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys and others
1967 ● David McAlmont → Brit pop-rock singer/songwriter, duet with Bernard Butler, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Ben Leach → Keyboards and synthesizer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), then joined electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1984 ● Rose Falcon → Singer and songwriter who wrote songs recorded by Faith Hill, country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now,” #2, Country #1, 2009) and others, her songs have been used in films, TV show and advertising commercials
1985 ● Lily Allen → Brit pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Smile” (#49, UK #1, 2006)

May 03
1903 ● Bing Crosby / (Harry Lillis Crosby) → Vastly popular multi-media megastar singer and actor with thousands of recorded songs, hundreds of albums and dozens of stage and screen roles, “White Christmas” (#1, 1942), died of a heart attack while golfing in Spain on 10/14/1977, age 74
1919 ● Pete Seeger → Folk singer and prolific songwriter, guitarist, banjoist, social and environmental activist, beloved American popular music icon and champion of traditional folk music, mentor to younger topical folkies Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie and others, played in folk-pop The Weavers, “Goodnight Irene” (#1, 1950), issued dozens of solo albums, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn” (The Byrds, #1, 1965), “If I Had A Hammer” (Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962) and other folk-pop and folk-rock hits, recorded and toured until the early 10s including with Bruce Springsteen and a Grammy winning album (Pete, 1996), died from natural causes on 12/27/2013, age 94
1921 ● Joe Ames / (Joseph Uric) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2007, age 86
1928 ● Dave Dudlley / (David Pedruska) → The “Father of Truck Driving Music”, honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Six Days On The Road” (#32, Country #2, 1963), died from a heart attack on 12/22/2003, age 75
1933 ● James Brown → The “Godfather of Soul”, flamboyant soul/funk singer, songwriter and bandleader, “It’s A Man’s World” (#8, 1968), died from pneumonia on 12/25/2006, age 73
1934 ● Frankie Valli / (Francis Castelluccio) → Lead vocals and frontman for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), solo, “Grease” (#1, 1978)
1944 ● Peter Staples → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● John Richardson → Drums and vocals for glam-pop-rock The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (#37, UK #1, 1974)
1950 ● Mary Hopkin → Welsh folk-pop singer and early Apple Records artist, “Those Were The Days” (#2, 1968)
1951 ● Christopher Cross / (Christopher Geppert) → Grammy-winning, flash-in-the-pan pop-rock sing and songwriter with 6 Top 10 hits in three years, including “Arthur’s Theme” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Bruce Hall → Second bassist for arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1959 ● David Ball → Multi-instrumentalist for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982)
1964 ● Sterling Campbell → Drummer and session/touring musician, worked with numerous acts, including Cyndi Lauper, The B-52’s, Duran Duran, Soul Asylum and David Bowiee, with whom he toured for 14 years
1965 ● Simon Smith → Drummer for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1969 ● Jay Darlington → Keyboardist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), toured with Oasis
1972 ● Josey Scott → Lead singer for rap-metal Saliva, “Always” (#51, Mainstream Rock #2, 2002), sang “Hero” with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, the theme song to the film Spider-Man (2002)
1977 ● Eric Church / (Kenneth Eric Church) → Country music singer, songwriter and avid advocate for marijuana legalization (“Smoke a Little Smoke”) with 18 Country Top 20 hits, including “Springsteen” (#19, Country #1, 2012)
1977 ● Joe Gooch → Blues-rock guitarist, joined Ten Years After (“I’d Love To Change The World,” Top 40, 1971) in 2003
1978 ● Paul Banks → English-American lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk revival Interpol, “The Heinrich Maneuver” (Alternative Rock #11, 2007)
1979 ● Danny Foster → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Farrah Franklin → Singer, actress and model with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), fired after 5 months, now solo
1981 ● Father John Misty / (Joshua Tillman) → Folk and roots rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer, founding member of indie shoegaze band Saxon Shore in 2001, drummed for Grammy-nominated indie folk Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012, has released 15 LPs and Eps, thirteen as J. Tillman and four under the current moniker Father John Misty

May 04
1922 ● Glenn Snoddy / (Glenn Thomas Snoddy) → Nashville studio recording engineer who inadvertently created the distorted guitar amplification in 1961 that became known as the “fuzz tone” effect in all genres of electric music, but particularly in 60s rock music, including the early and familiar riff on The Rolling Stones‘ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (#1, AUS #1, UK #1, 1965), later opened famed recording studio Woodland Sound in East Nashville and presided over recordings by Neil Young, Kansas, Tammy Wynette and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band until his retirement in 1990, died from undisclosed causes on 5/21/2018, age 96
1923 ● Mr. Skin / (Ed Cassidy) → Drummer in languid blues-folk-rock Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, then in 1967 co-founded psych rock/prog rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1968) with whom he’s played for nearly 50 years
1928 ● Maynard Ferguson → Canadian jazz trumpeter in Stan Kenton Orchestra and Morris Levy‘s Birdland Dream Band, formed his own band in 1969, “Gonna Fly Now” (#28, 1977), died from liver and kidney failure on 8/23/2006, age 78
1937 ● Dick Dale / (Richard Anthony Monsour) → The “King of the Surf Guitar”, pioneer of the single-note staccato picking technique, developed reverberation, frontman for surf rock The Del-Tones, “Let’s Go Trippin'” (#60, 1962)
1938 ● Tyrone Davis / (Tyrone Fettson) → Chicago-style smooth soul R&B singer with multiple hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Can I Change My Mind’ (#5, R&B #1, 1968) and “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” (#3, R&B #1) but continued to record into the 00s until he suffered a stroke and died five months later on 2/9/2005, age 66
1941 ● David LaFlamme → Violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, then founder/frontman for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1941 ● Richard Burns → Guitarist for surf/hot-rod rock The Hondells, “Little Honda” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Tammy Wynette / (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmia on 4/6/1998, age 55
1942 ● Nickolas Ashford → With wife Valerie Simpson, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others, died from complications of throat cancer on 8/22/2011, age 69
1943 ● Ronnie Bond / (Ronald Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992, age 49
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia / (Margaret Santiglia) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1945 ● Jojjie Wadenius / (Georg Wadenius) → Swedish-born bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), later joined the Saturday Night Live house band, session work for Steely Dan, Diana Ross, Dr. John, David Sanborn and many others
1949 ● Zal Cleminson / (Alistair Cleminson) → Scottish guitarist for rock ‘n roll Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), joined hard rock Nazareth in 1979
1951 ● Jackie Jackson / (Sigmund Esco Jackson) → With brother Michael, co-lead singer for R&B/pop-soul The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), after Michael went solo stayed on with his other brothers as The Jacksons, “State Of Shock” (#3, 1984)
1951 ● Mick Mars / (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
1951 ● Bruce Day → Bass guitar for Latino rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” (#4, 1970), joined pop-rock Pablo Cruise in 1977, “Love Will Find A Way” (#6, 1978), died on 6/30/1999, age 48
1952 ● Jacob Miller → Up-and-coming Jamaican reggae singer and lead vocalist for the reggae band Inner Circle until his death in a car accident on 3/23/1980, age 27
1956 ● Sharon Jones / (Sharon Lafaye Jones) → R&B/soul and funk singer, lead vocalist and frontwoman for revivalist funk band The Dap-Kings and eight albums starting in 1996, including the Grammy-nominated Give The People What They Want (2014), continued to perform (opened for two Hall & Oates tours in 2015) and record (issued two albums in 2016-16) until shortly before her death from pancreatic cancer on 11/18/2016, age 60
1959 ● Randy Travis / (Randy Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10s), including “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” (Country #1, 1990)
1961 ● Jay Hilda Aston → Singer and dancer for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1964 ● Gary Holt → Guitarist and chief songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), since 2011 lead guitarist for thrash metal Slayer (“Hate Worldwide,” #2, 2009)
1970 ● Gregg Alexander → Singer, songwriter, solo artist, Grammy-winning producer and frontman for pop-rock The New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (#36, Adult Top 40 #11, UK #5, 1998), wrote hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002) for Santana and Michelle Branch
1972 ● Chris Tomlin / (Christopher Dwayne Tomlin) → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music star with multiple CCM hits, including “Our God” (#9, Christian #1, 2010)
1972 ● Mike Dirnt / (Michael Ryan Pritchard) → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1979 ● Lance Bass → Bass vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 7 – 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 07
1908 ● Percy Faith → Composer, bandleader, producer and easy listening/pop singer, “The Theme From A Summer Place” (#1, 1960), died of cancer on 2/9/1976, age 67
1912 ● Jack Lawrence → Hall of Fame songwriter and musical theater lyricist noted for songs that helped launch the careers of The Ink Spots (“If I Didn’t Care,” #2, 1939), Frank Sinatra (“All Or Nothing At All,” #2, 1943) and Bobby Darin (“By The Sea,” #6, 1959), wrote the song “Linda” for his friend Lee Eastman‘s daughter, who grew up to marry Paul McCartney, died from complications of a broken pelvis from a fall in his home on 3/16/2009, age 96
1915 ● Billie Holiday / (Eleanora Fagan Gough) → Known as “Lady Day”, hugely successful and revered jazz-blues singer, “Lady Sings The Blues” (1956), died from liver failure on 7/17/1959, age 44
1920 ● Ravi Shankar / (Rabindra Shankar Chowdery) → World-renowned Indian sitarist, mentor to George Harrison, music professor and university department head, member of Indian parliament, father of contemporary jazz-pop star Norah Jones, died from complications following heart valve replacement surgery on 12/11/2012, age 92
1922 ● Mongo Santamaria / (Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría Rodríguez) → Grammy-winning Cuban percussionist and Latin-jazz bandleader, “Watermelon Man” (#10, R&B #8, 1963), died following a stroke on 2/1/2003, age 80
1935 ● Bobby Bare → Country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All American Boy” (#2, 1959) and Grammy-winning “Detroit City” (#16, Adult Contemporary #4, 1963) plus over 50 Country Top 40 hits from 1964 to 1983
1937 ● Charlie Thomas → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Five Crowns, who changed their name in 1958 to The Drifters, “Under The Boardwalk” (#4, 1964)
1938 ● Spencer Dryden → Drummer for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then country-folk-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, “Panama Red” (1973), died of cancer on 1/11/2005, age 66
1938 ● Freddie Hubbard / (Frederick Dewayne Hubbard) → Renowned jazz/be bop NEA Jazz Master trumpeter with a Grammy-winning album (First Light, 1972) which led to accusations of commercial sell-out, performed in numerous collaborations with George Benson, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine and many others, died from a heart attack on 11/26/2008, age 70
1943 ● Mick Abrahams / (Michael Timothy Abrahams) → Original lead guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), left after a falling-out with bandleader Ian Anderson, formed blues-rock Blodwyn Pig that released two charting albums in the early 70s
1943 ● Alan Buck → Drummer for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the U.S., died from a heart attack on 3/15/1994, age 50
1947 ● Florian Schneider-Esleben → Drums and keyboards for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1947 ● Patricia Bennett → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963)
1947 ● Skip Pitts / (Charles Pitts) → Soul, funk and blues guitarist, “wah-wah” style innovator, session musician with Stax Records, performed with Isaac Hayes (soundtrack album Shaft, 1971), also worked with James Brown, Otis Redding, The Isley Brothers, Cyndi Lauper and others, died of cancer on 5/1/2012, age 65
1948 ● Carol Douglas → Disco diva with the early dance-pop/disco hit “Doctor’s Orders” (#11, Disco #2, 1975) and several other Dance/Club chart singles but little commercial success, continued to perform in clubs into the 90s
1948 ● Dallas Taylor, Jr. → Session drummer for John Sebastian and with Lowell George in pre-Little Feat folk-rock The Factory, founding member of 60s psych rock Clear Light (“Mr. Blue,” 1967), joined Crosby, Stills & Nash for their debut album (1969) and their follow-up with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (1970), played with Stephen Stills on his solo albums and with his band Manassas, toured with Paul Butterfield‘s band in the late 70s, died from liver failure on 1/18/2015, age 66
1949 ● John Oates → Singer/songwriter and one half of Philly soul-pop-rock duo Hall & Oates, “Private Eyes” (#1, 1981), plus 20 other Top 20 hits
1949 ● Wells Kelly → Multi-instrumentalist musician, early member of pop-rock King Harvest (his brother Sherman wrote the hit “Dancing In The Moonlight” – #1, 1973) and co-founder of pop-rock Orleans (“Still The One,” #5, 1976), toured with Steve Forbert, Clarence Clemons and Meat Loaf in the early 80s, found dead on the front steps of a London flat after a night of partying during a tour on 10/29/1984, age 35
1950 ● Steve Ellis / (Stephen John Ellis) → Vocals for London-based R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, left in 1969 for a marginal solo career and stints with various Brit rock bands, still records and performs with The New Amen Corner into the 10s
1951 ● Janis Ian / (Janis Eddy Fink) → Grammy-winning, often controversial singer/songwriter, first hit was at age 16, “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)” (#14, 1967), then “At Seventeen” (#3, 1975)
1951 ● Bruce Gary → Drummer for power pop The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979), worked with Albert Collins, Jack Bruce, Dr. John in the 70s and Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Yoko Ono, Bette Midler and others, and as a producer before dying of lymphoma on 8/22/2006, age 55
1960 ● Simon Climie → Songwriter and member of the Brit pop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988), lately collaborating with Eric Clapton
1962 ● Barbara Kessler → Folk-pop singer and songwriter (“Deep Country,” 1994)
1978 ● Duncan James / (Duncan Matthew James Inglis) → Actor, TV host and singer with Brit boy band Blue, “If You Come Back” (UK #1, 2002), solo

April 08
1896 ● Yip Harburg / (Edgar Yipsel Harburg) → One of the top Broadway and Hollywood lyricists of the 30s and 40s, wrote the lyrics to multiple pop standards, including “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” (1932), co-wrote the songs to The Wizard Of Oz and the Oscar-winning “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (1939), died from a heart attack on 3/5/1981, age 84
1914 ● Irving Taylor / (Irving Goldberg) → Composer, lyricist and screenwriter known for his late 50s whimsical novelty and parody songs, and for co-writing “Everybody Loves Somebody” (Dean Martin, #1, 1964) which improbably knocked The Beatles‘ “A Hard Day’s Night” off Billboard’s top spot, also wrote for Bob Newhart and Jonathan Winters on their TV show scripts, died on 12/3/1983, age 69
1920 ● Carmen McRae → Pianist, songwriter and versatile jazz singer, worked with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie, recorded over 60 albums and was a seven-time Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Performance – Female, received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 1994, continued to tour and perform until just before her death following a stroke on 11/10/1994, age 74
1929 ● Jacques Brel → Internationally acclaimed Belgian singer and songwriter whose compositions have been interpreted by Marc Almond, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, sold over 25 million records worldwide, all in French, died of cancer 10/9/1978, age 49
1941 ● J.J. Jackson / (Jerome Louis Jackson) → R&B/soul singer and organist, “But It’s Alright” (#22, R&B #4, 1966)
1941 ● Peggy Lennon / (Margaret Anne Lennon) → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 1999 and was replaced by her younger sister, Mimi
1942 ● Chappo Chapman / (Roger Chapman) → Co-frontman and lead vocals for Brit art/blues-rock Family, then hard blues-rock Streetwalkers, now solo
1942 ● Leon Huff → With partner Kenny Gamble in the famed Philadelphia songwriting and production team of Gamble & Huff, crafted the “Philly soul” sound as the founders and chief creative team for Motown-rival Philadelphia International Records, wrote and produced dozens of hits from “Expressway To Your Heart” (The Soul Survivors, #4, R&B #3, 1967) to “Love Train” (The O’Jays, #1, R&B #1, 1872) and “Close the Door” (Teddy Pendergrass, #25, R&B #1, 1978), after the disco era the shine on the label faded but the two continue to write into the 10s
1944 ● Keef Hartley → Drummer for Brit beat group Rory Storm & The Hurricanes (replaced Ringo Starr), then blues-rock John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then founded jazz-pop-rock fusion Keef Hartley Band and was the first British act to appear at Woodstock, died from unspecified causes on 11/26/2011, age 67
1944 ● Deke Richards / (Dennis Lussier) → Songwriter and record producer, part of the Motown songwriting team known as “The Clan” and later “The Corporation,” co-wrote multiple hits for several Motown bands, most importantly bubblegum-soul The Jackson 5 including “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), “ABC” (#1, 1970), retired to operate a vintage movie poster business and died from esophageal cancer on 3/24/2013, age 68
1947 ● Steve Howe → Lead guitarist in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971) and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), then pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), also Bodast, GTR, the Syndicats and Tomorrow
1947 ● Larry Norman → Musician, singer, songwriter, record label owner and pioneer of Christian rock music with a catalogue of over 100 albums despite an often contentious relationship with the Christian church and the Christian music industry, his long hair and radical social themes kept his records out of Bible stores for much of his career, died from complications of long-term heart ailments on 2/27/2008, age 60
1956 ● Justin Sullivan → Frontman, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985)
1962 ● Adam Mole → Keyboards for “grebo” dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991)
1962 ● Izzy Stradlin / (Jeffrey Isbell) → Guitarist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), also fronted the Ju Ju Hounds
1962 ● Jem Kelly → Guitars for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983)
1963 ● Donita Sparks → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for all-girl post-punk/grunge band L7, “Pretend We’re Dead” (Alt Rock #8, 1992)
1963 ● Julian Lennon → Guitarist and singer/songwriter, pop-rock “Too Late For Goodbyes” (#11, 1984), son of John and only child of his first wife Cynthia
1964 ● Biz Markie / (Marcel Theo Hall) → Freestyle rhymer/rapper, “Just A Friend” (#9, Rap #5, 1989)
1971 ● Darren Jessee → Drummer for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (Modern Rock #6, 1998)
1972 ● The Pig / (Paul Dedrick Gray) → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), died from an accidental drug overdose on 5/24/2010, age 38
1975 ● Anouk Teeuwe → Dutch pop-rock singer, “Nobody’s Wife” (1997)
1984 ● Ezra Koenig → Lead singer and rhythm guitar for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)

April 09
1932 ● Carl Perkins → The “King of Rockabilly,” singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Blue Suede Shoes” (#2, 1955), died from throat cancer on 1/19/1998, age 65
1938 ● “Rockin'” Sidney Simien / (Sidney Simien) → Grammy-winning Cajun/swamp blues and zydeco singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, one hit wonder crossover phenomenon “My Toot Toot” (Country #19, 1985), zydeco’s first international hit, died of throat cancer on 2/25/1998, age 59
1943 ● Terry Knight / (Richard Terrance Knapp) → Producer, promote, radio DJ and later manager for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973) and Bloodrock, “D.O.A.” (#76, 1978), died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by his teenage daughter’s boyfriend during an argument on 11/1/2004, age 61
1944 ● Emil Stucchio → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● Les Gray / (Thomas Leslie Gray) → Vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), died from throat cancer on 2/21/2004, age 57
1948 ● Phillip Wright → Drummer and lead vocals for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1948 ● Chico Ryan / (David Allen Ryan) → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), died on 7/26/1998, age 50
1950 ● Peter Wood → Keyboardist for folk-pop-rock Quiver and The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver (“Arms Of Mary,” #81, UK #5, 1976), later worked with Al Stewart, with whom he co-wrote “Year Of The Cat” (#8, 1977), and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in the backing band for The Wall concerts in 1980-81, died in December 1994, age 44
1961 ● Mark Kelly → Keyboards for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1969 ● Kevin Martin → Lead vocals for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1977 ● Gerard Way → Vocals for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)
1978 ● Rachel Stevens → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1980 ● Albert L. Hammond, Jr. → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1987 ● Jesse McCartney → Teen TV actor (All My Children), then dance-pop boy band Dream Street, solo, “Beautiful Soul” (#16, 2006)

April 10
1911 ● Martin Denny → Composer credited with inventing the exotica genre of easy listening lounge music combining Latin, South Pacific and “space age” pop music in rearrangements of popular songs, “Quiet Village” (#4, R&B #11, 1959) from the #1 album Exotica (1959), toured extensively through the early 00s and performed his last concert in Hawaii just three weeks before his death on 3/2/2005, age 93
1921 ● Sheb Wooley / (Shelby F. Wooley) → Country music singer with eight Country Top 40 hits and the novelty-pop hit “The Purple People Eater” (#1, 1958), TV actor (played Pete Nolan in the TV series Rawhide), died of leukemia on 9/16/2003, age 82
1928 ● Rosco Gordon → Memphis blues singer and distinctive piano player with two R&B Top 5 hits in the immediate pre-rock ‘n’ roll days (“Booted,” R&B #1, 1952 and “No More Doggin’,” R&B #2, 1952) and a later crossover hit (“Just A Little Bit,” #64, R&B #2, 1960), his shuffling-style called “Rosco’s Rhythm” has been cited as a building block for Jamaican ska music beginning in the 60s, died of a heart attack on 7/11/2002, age 74
1932 ● Nate Nelson / (Nathaniel Nelson) → Founding member and tenor vocals for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), appeared with his bandmates in the rock ‘n’ roll musicals Rock, Rock, Rock (1956) and Go, Johnny, Go! (1959), died from heart disease on 6/1/1984, age 52
1936 ● Bobby Smith / (Robert Smith) → Principal lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, died from pneumonia caused by lung cancer on 3/16/2013, age 76
1940 ● Ricky Valance (David Spencer) / (David Spencer) → Welsh singer, covered “Tell Laura I Love Her” (UK #1, 1960), becoming the first UK #1 by an artist from Wales
1947 ● Bunny Wailer (aka Bunny Livingston) / (Neville O’Reilly Livingston) → Reggae/ska percussionist and singer/songwriter, original member of The Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Grammy-winning solo career, named by Newsweek magazine as one of the three most important figures in world music
1947 ● Burke Shelley → Bass guitar and vocals for early and influential Welsh heavy metal band Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1947 ● Karl Russell → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits
1948 ● Fred Smith → Original bassist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), left in 1975 to replace Richard Hell in punk-rock Television, rejoining Blondie in 1978
1950 ● Eddie Hazel → Lead guitarist for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), his solo is the funk-metal guitar classic on “Maggot Brain” (1971), died of liver failure on 12/23/1992, age 42
1950 ● Ernest Stewart → Rhythm guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits, died on 4/26/1977, age 47
1953 ● Terre Roche → Singer/songwriter in critically-acclaimed but commercially-marginal female folk-pop harmony vocal sister trio The Roches, backed Paul Simon, solo
1957 ● Steve Gustafson → Bassist for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, “These Are Days” (Alt-Rock #1, 1992)
1959 ● Babyface / (Kenneth Brian Edmonds) → Urban contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “When Can I See You” (#4, 1994), writer and producer for Toni Braxton, Bobby Brown, Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston, TLC and others
1959 ● Brian Setzer → Founder and frontman for rockabilly revival The Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#9, 1983), then leader of pop-swing revival Brian Setzer Orchestra, “Jump Jive An’ Wail” (Adult Top 40 #14, 1998)
1959 ● Katrina Leskanich → Lead vocals for New Wave pop-rock Katrina And The Waves, “Walking On Sunshine” (#9, 1985) and the Eurovision 1997 contest winner “Love Shine A Light” (UK #3, 1997)
1963 ● Mark Oliver Everett → Guitarist and lead singer for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997)
1963 ● Torch DeMartini / (Warren DeMartini) → Lead guitarist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1964 ● Reni Wren / (Alan Wren) → Drummer for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989)
1968 ● Kenediid Osman → Bassist for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1970 ● Kenny Lattimore → R&B singer, “For You” (#33, 1997)
1970 ● Mike Mushok → Guitarist for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1970 ● Q-Tip / (Jonathan Davis (aka Kamaal Ibn John Fareed)) → MC in artistic hip hop jazz-rap fusion trio A Tribe Called Quest, “Check The Rhime” (Rap #1, 1991), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Vivrant Thins” (#26, Rap #10, 1999), producer and actor
1975 ● Chris Carrabba → Frontman, lead singer and guitarist for alt rock/emo band Dashboard Confessional, “Stolen” (#44, 2007)
1979 ● Sophie Ellis Bextor → Lead singer for indie-rock Brit-pop Theaudience, then solo, “Murder On The Dancefloor” (UK #2, 2001)
1980 ● Bryce Soderberg → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1981 ● Liz McClarnon / (Elizabeth Margaret McClarnon) → Vocals for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000)
1983 ● Andrew Dost → Founding member and keyboards for indie pop-rock Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2011), co-composed the soundtrack to the comedy drama film The D Train (2015)
1984 ● Mandy Moore → Teen idol pop singer, “I Wanna Be With You” (#24, Top 40 #11, 2000) turned film actress (A Walk To Remember, 2002) and Adult Contemporary singer/songwriter

April 11
1934 ● Cleotha Staples → Eldest sibling in influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 2/21/2013, age 78
1935 ● Richard Berry → R&B/ballad and novelty singer/songwriter and backing vocalist, wrote and recorded “Louie Louie” in 1956 (became a #2 hit and subsequent garage rock classic for The Kingsmen in 1962), died from heart failure on 1/23/1997, age 61
1939 ● Freddie Gorman / (Frederick Cortez Gorman) → Versatile Motown Records singer, songwriter and producer in the 60s and 70s, co-wrote “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (#1, R&B #1, 1961) and a dozen others, member of session group The Originals which also had string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died of lung cancer on 6/13/2006, age 67
1943 ● Tony Victor → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● “Whispering Bob” Harris / (Robert Brinley Joseph Harris) → Iconic BBC Radio 2 DJ and TV host, including the long running contemporary music show The Old Grey Whistle Test and current twice-weekly rock music program
1950 ● Tom Hill → Bassist for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1951 ● Paul Fox → Guitarist and lead singer for punk/dub reggae/club and Rock Against Racism-supporting quartet The Ruts, “Babylon’s Burning” (UK #7, 1979), continued with various post-punk and revival bands through to his death from lung cancer on 10/21/2007, age 56
1956 ● Neville Staples → Vocals for 2 Tone Records multiracial ska band The Specials, “Ghost Town” (#1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy 3, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), frontman for The Neville Staple Band
1958 ● Stuart Adamson / (William Stuart Adamson) → Guitar and vocals for Scottish art-punk-rock The Skids, “Into The Valley,” UK #10, 1979), then for art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country,” #17, Mainstream Rock #3, UK #17, 1983), suffered from alcoholism and hanged himself in a Honolulu hotel room on 12/16/2001, age 43
1961 ● Doug Hopkins → Co-founder, lead guitarist and chief songwriter for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), committed suicide on 12/5/1993, age 32
1965 ● Nigel Pulsford → Founding member and original lead guitarist for alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995), left in 2002 to spend time with his family
1966 ● Lisa Stansfield → English singer/songwriter, first as lead vocals for pop-rock Blue Zone UK, “Jackie” (#54, Dance/Club #37, 1988), then solo “All Around The World” (#3, 1989)
1969 ● Cerys Elizabeth Philip Matthews → Vocals for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1970 ● Delroy Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1970 ● Dylan Keefe → Bass and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1971 ● Ollie Riedel / (Oliver Riedel) → Bassist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1978 ● Tom Thacker → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1979 ● Chris Gaylor → Drums and percussion for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Joss Stone / (Jocelyn Eve Stoker) → Blue-eyed Brit R&B/neo-soul singer, released first album at age 16, first hit at 17, “Fell In Love With A Boy” (, 2004), Grammy-winner in 2007 with John Legend and Van Hunt for cover of Sly & The Family Stone‘s “Family Affair”

April 12
1916 ● Russell Garcia → Composer and arranger for NBC Radio, MGM Studios, Warner Bros. and Disney on soundtracks from classic movies (The Time Machine, 1960) to TV shows (Rawhide, 1962), orchestra conductor for Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Judy Garland and others, bandleader with the acclaimed, spooky and innovative Fantastica: Music From Out Space (1959), relocated to New Zealand in the 60s and led the country’s national symphony orchestra, died following a fall on 11/19/2011, age 95
1917 ● Helen Forrest / (Helen Fogel) → Extremely popular jazz-swing-pop “girl singer” of the Big Band era, performed with Benny Goodman, Harry James, Nat King Cole, Artie Shaw and as a solo artist, charted dozens of Top 40 singles and seven #1 hits, including “Taking A Chance On Love” (#1, 1943), died from heart failure on 7/11/1999, age 82
1919 ● Billy Vaughn → Saxophonist, orchestra leader and arranger with more Top 40 hits during the early rock ‘n’ roll era than any other orchestra, including “Sail Along Silvery Moon” (#5, 1957), musical director for Dot Records and artists such as Pat Boone and the Fontane Sisters in the 60s and recorded over 30 albums of mainstream instrumental covers, retired in the 80s and died from mesothelioma on 9/26/1991, age 72
1925 ● Prentiss Barnes → Bass vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows (“Sincerely,” R&B #1, 1955), received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in 1995, died in a car accident on 10/1/2006, age 81
1925 ● Ned Miller / (Henry Ned Miller) → Shy, unassuming country crooner and songwriter whose stage fright caused him to stop touring and eventually quit songwriting, but not until he penned 11 charting Country hits for himself, including the huge crossover single “From A Jack To A King” (#6, Country #2, 1962) plus numerous hits for others, including Hank Snow, Gale Storm and Ricky Van Shelton, left the music business in the late 60s and faded into obscurity, died of natural causes on 3/18/2016, age 90
1930 ● Carole Lindsay Young → Vocals for English pop trio The Kaye Sisters, “Ivory Tower” (UK #20, 1956), died 8/20/2006, age 76
1933 ● Tiny Tim / (Herbert Khaury) → Warbling singer and ukulele-strumming, 60s flash-in-the-pan novelty act, “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” (#17, 1968), married Victoria Mae “Miss Vicki” Budinger on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show on 1217/1969, died of a heart attack on stage on 11/30/1996, age 63
1940 ● Herbie Hancock / (Herbert Jeffrey Hancock) → Renowned jazz fusion keyboardist with Miles Davis and Chick Corea, solo “Chameleon” (1973), composed film soundtracks
1944 ● John Kay / (Joachim Krauledat) → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Lois Reeves / (Sandra Delores Reeves) → Joined sister Martha’s Motown R&B/soul-pop group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas in 1967 to replace Betty Kelly, “Jimmy Mack” (#11, R&B #1, 1967)
1949 ● Donald Ray Mitchell → Vocals for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989)
1950 ● David Cassidy / (David Bruce Cassidy) → TV, stage and screen actor and singer, portrayed Keith Partridge, the teen idol oldest son of real-life stepmother Shirley Jones, in the pre-fab TV show and sunshine pop group The Partridge Family (“I Think I Love You,” #1, 1970), followed with a 40-year career as an international adult pop music star (“How Can I Be Sure,” #25, AC #3, UK #1, 1972) and TV actor, died from liver failure on 11/21/2017, age 67
1951 ● Alexander Briley → Vocals (and the Army G. I. character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1954 ● Pat Travers → Canadian bluesy hard rock guitarist, singer and bandleader for the Pat Travers Band, “New Age Music” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1981) and solo
1956 ● Herbert Grönemeyer → German film actor (Das Boot, 1981) and film score composer, now successful pop-rocker, “Mensch” (German #1, 2002)
1957 ● Vince Gill / (Vincent Grant Gill) → Neo-traditionalist country-pop singer/songwriting and guitarist, fronted light country-rock Pure Prairie League (“Amie,” (#27, 1973) from 1978 to 1982, left for a successful solo career with 18 Country Music Assoc. awards, 21 Grammy awards, 16 Country Top 10 albums and 40 charting hits, including “I Still Believe In You” (AC #30, Country #1, 1993), married to singer Amy Grant since 2000
1958 ● Will Sergeant → Guitarist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Art Alexakis → Frontman, guitars, lead vocals and principal songwriter for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1964 ● Amy Ray → Guitar and vocals in indie-folk-pop duo Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine” (#52, Modern Rock #26, 1989)
1965 ● Sean Welch → Bassist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1967 ● Mellow Man Ace / (Ulpiano Sergio Reyes) → Cuban-born rapper and house music singer (“Mentirosa,” #14, 1990), brother of Sen Dog
1967 ● Sarah Cracknell → Frontwoman and lead vocals for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Nicholas Lofton Hexum → Vocals and rhythm guitar for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996)
1974 ● Shakir Stewart → Record label executive noted for signing Beyoncé to Hitco Music, Ciara to LaFace Records and Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records, where he was Executive Vice President until his death from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on 11/1/2008, age 34
1978 ● Guy Berryman → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1980 ● Bryan McFadden → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits, now solo and judge on Australia’s Got Talent TV show
1987 ● Brendon Urie → Lead singer, guitar and piano for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

April 13
1926 ● Cosimo Matassa / (Cosimo Vincent Matassa) → Early rock ‘n’ roll recording engineer credited with creating the “New Orleans Sound” from his studio near the French Quarter through recordings for Fats Domino (“The Fat Man,” R&B #2, 1950) and Little Richard (“Tutti Frutti,” #17, 1956), and later albums by Ray Charles, Dr. John and others, including 21 gold records, retired in the 80s and died from natural causes on 9/11/2014, age 88
1934 ● Horace Kay → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1936 ● Rashad Feild / (Richard Timothy Feild) → Vocals and guitar with Dusty Springfield and her brother in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), now Sufi mystic and spiritual teacher
1940 ● Lester Chambers → Lead vocals, harmonica and percussion for bi-racial psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1942 ● Bill Conti → Prolific film and TV score composer, best known for the Rocky movie series, wrote and directed “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), theme song from Rocky, orchestra conductor for the Academy Awards
1943 ● Guy Stevens → Label executive, producer and band manager, early figure at Island Records and the Britbeat and blues scenes in the 60s, managed Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, UK #1, 1967) and mentored Mott The Hoople (“All the Young Dudes, #37, UK #3, 1972), produced albums for <strongFree and Spooky Tooth plus the punk classic London Calling (1978) for The Clash, died from a prescription drug overdose on 8/29/1981, age 38
1944 ● Jack Casady / (John William Casady) → Bassist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
1944 ● Brian Pendleton → Original rhythm guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964), died of lung cancer on 5/15/2001, age 57
1945 ● Lowell George → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, frontman for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), solo, died of an accidental drug overdose on 6/29/1979, age 34
1946 ● Al Green / (Albert Greene) → Southern R&B and gospel singer, “Let’s Stay Together” (#1, 1972), #65 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
1946 ● Roy Loney → Founding member, wild frontman and lead vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, left for mostly quiet solo career in 1971
1948 ● Peter Sweval / (Piet Sweval) → Co-founder and bassist for the band the eventually became one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass (“Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl),” #1, 1972), later joined pop/metal Starz (“Cherry Baby,” #33, 1977), died from cancer on 1/23/1990, age 41
1951 ● Max Weinberg → Drummer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, frontman for Max Weinberg 7 (house band for TV’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien), author of 1991 book The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Greatest Drummers
1951 ● Peabo Bryson / (Robert Peabo Bryson) → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, duet with Roberta Flack “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (1983) plus solo, “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” (#10, 1984)
1954 ● Jimmy Destri / (James Mollica) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Louis Johnson → Bass and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Brothers Johnson, “Strawberry Letter 23” (#, R&B #1, 1977), session musician for renowned producer Quincy Jones, played on Michael Jackson‘s Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous albums and recorded five solo LPs of gospel and funk music, died in his Las Vegas home on 5/21/2015
1957 ● Wayne Lewis → Lead singer and keyboards for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Butch Taylor / (Clarence Frederick Taylor) → Keyboards for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1961 ● Hiro Yamamoto → Founding member and original bassist for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), left in 1991 to form three piece indie rock/neo psychedelia Truly
1962 ● Hillel Slovak → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000), died from a heroin overdose 6/25/1988, age 26
1966 ● Marc Ford → Lead guitarist for roots/raunch rock Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), solo
1972 ● Aaron Lewis → Vocals for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1975 ● Lou Bega / (David Lubega) → German-born, Italian and Ugandan-descended dance-pop Latino-tinged singer, “Mambo No. 5” (#3, 1999)
1979 ● Tony Lundon → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 31 – April 6)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 31
1921 ● Lowell Fulson → West Coast blues guitarist, singer and songwriter with “Tramp” (#52, R&B #5, 1967) and three other R&B Top 20 hits plus one pop Top 10 smash, “Lonesome Christmas (Part 1)” (#6, 1966) in a five decade career, died from complications of diabetes and heart disease on 3/7/1999, age 77
1928 ● Lefty Frizzell / (William Orville Frizzell) → Country and honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist with a distinctive and enduring vocal style that smoothed the rough edges of honky tonk and led to mainstream acceptance for the many that followed him over the decades, charted nine Country Top 40 hits between 1955 and 1965, including “Saginaw, Michigan” (#85, Country #1, 1964) but never achieved the fame of several Country contemporaries, continued to record until his death from a stroke on 7/19/1975, age 47
1929 ● Eugene Puerling → Influential, acclaimed and Grammy-winning vocalist and vocal arranger, formed and fronted a cappella The Hi-Lo’s and The Singers Unlimited, wrote, arranged and/or produced the music on dozens of albums by his groups and others, his influence is heard in the harmonies of The Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, died from complications of diabetes on 3/25/2008, age 78
1933 ● Ina Anita Carter → Youngest daughter of country music legend “Mother” Maybelle Carter and member of country singing trio and Nashville regulars The Carter Sisters, opened for Elvis Presley tours in the mid-50s, backed Johnny Cash (whom sister June married in 1968) and appeared on TV variety shows including Hee Haw, died on 6/29/1999, age 66
1934 ● Shirley Jones → TV/screen actress and singer, played the tambourine-shaking mother (with real-life stepson David Cassidy) in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (#1, 1970)
1934 ● John D. Loudermilk → Nashville-based country and pop singer/songwriter with a handful of minor hits as a solo artist in the 50s and 60s, but best known for writing dozens of hits for others in the 60s and 70s, including “Ebony Eyes” by The Everly Brothers (#8, 1961), “Tobacco Road” by The Nashville Teens (#14, UK #6, 1960) and “Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere & The Raiders (#1, 1971), died from as heart attack on 9/21/2016, age 82
1935 ● Richard Chamberlain → Brief but successful MOR/pop singer, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#14, Adult #6, 1963) while starring in the fresh-faced lead role in the TV series Dr. Kildare, continued to appear in various TV series as a guest star and on Broadway through the 00s
1942 ● Hugh McCracken → Session guitarist and harmonica player on dozens of albums for numerous top artists from The Left Banke in 1967 to Steely Dan in 2003, plus Roberta Flack, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, James Taylor and others, co-produced two albums for Dr. John in 1978, died from leukemia on 3/28/2013, age 70
1944 ● Mick Ralphs / (Michael Geoffrey Ralphs) → Guitarist and founding member of glam-rock Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972) and hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), solo
1944 ● Rod Allen / (Rodney Bainbridge) → Lead vocals and bassist in Brit pop-rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died from liver cancer on 1/10/2008, age 63
1946 ● Al Nichol / (G. Allan Nichol) → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Jon Poulos → Drummer for pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967), died from a suspected drug overdose on 3/26/1980, age 33
1947 ● Al Goodman / (Willie Albert Goodman) → Vocals in R&B/smooth soul trio The Moments, “Sexy Mama” (#17, R&B #3, 1973) and 26 other R&B chart hits, changed their name to Ray, Goodman & Brown in 1979 due to a contract dispute and scored 10 more R&B hits, including “Special Lady” (#5, 1979), continued to perform with the group until his death from heart failure on 7/27/2010, age 63
1948 ● Thijs Van Leer → Founding member, organ and flute for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo classical and jazz-rock albums
1953 ● Sean Hopper → Keyboards and vocals for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Tony Brock → Drummer for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), sessions for Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Elton John and others
1955 ● Angus Young → Schoolboy-uniformed co-founder, lead guitarist and songwriter for power chord rock AC/DC, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1981)
1958 ● Pat McGlynn → Bassist for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1958 ● Paul Ferguson → Founding member and drummer for post-punk New Wave industrial-dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1959 ● Robert Holmes → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (1985), then blues-rock Ultra Blue and a cappella doo wop quintet Street Magic, now freelance rock guitarist
1971 ● Julian Deane → Guitarist for alt pub rock/blue-eyed soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1974 ● Stefan Olsdal → Swedish bassist for alt glam-rock/punk revival Placebo, “Pure Morning” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1999)
1978 ● Tony Yayo / (Marvin Bernard) → Haitian-American rapper with G-Unit, “Stunt 101” (#13, Rap #5, 2003) and solo, “So Seductive'” feat. 50 Cent (#48, Rap #12, 2005), convicted felon
1984 ● Jack Antonoff → Singer/songwriter and lead guitarist in Grammy-winning indie pop Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2012), currently guitar, piano and vocals in indie pop-rock Bleachers (“I Wanna Get Better,” Alt Rock #1, 2014)

April 01
1897 ● Lucille Bogan → Under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson, early blues songwriter and recording artist known for her sexually charged lyrics including “Shave ‘Em Dry” (1935) and “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (1937), considered one of the “big three” of the blues with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, died from coronary sclerosis on 8/10/1948, age 51
1921 ● Arthur Smith → Country music instrumentalist and pioneer of electric guitar music in the late 40s, charted the oft-covered “Guitar Boogie” (#25, 1948), an early rock ‘n’ roller, wrote hundreds of songs, including “Dueling Banjos” from the film Deliverance (1972), hosted country music’s first syndicated TV show beginning in 1951, died at home on 4/3/2014, age 93
1927 ● Amos Milburn → Boogie-blues piano master, singer and rock ‘n’ roll roots pioneer, “Chicken Shack Boogie” (R&B #1, 1948) and eight other R&B Top 10 hits, died following a stroke on 1/3/1980, age 52
1932 ● Debbie Reynolds / (Mary Frances Reynolds) → Popular film, stage and TV actress and adult-pop singer “Tammy” (#1, 1957), starred numerous films including the genre-defining Hollywood musical Singing In The Rain (1952), one of the top films in American cinema history, continues to be active in business and charitable organizations into the 10s
1934 ● Jim Ed Brown → Country and country-pop singer and radio and TV host, found early fame with his two sisters in 50-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), followed with a solo career and 13 Country Top 25 hits, including “Morning” (Country #1, 1970), recorded seven Country Top 10 duets with Helen Cornelius in the late 70s, including “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You” (Country #1, 1976), hosted various country music radio and TV entertainment shows until shortly before his death from lung cancer on 6/3/2015, age 81
1939 ● Rudolph Isley → Vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1942 ● Phil Margo → Drummer and vocalist for white doo-wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1942 ● Alan Blakely → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), died of cancer on 6/1/1996, age 54
1944 ● Frank Gari / (Frank Garofal)) → Pop music singer and songwriter with three Top 40 hits in 1961, including “Lullaby Of Love” (#23, 1961), transitioned to an Emmy and Clio award-winning career composing theme and advertising jingles for TV and radio, worked for McDonald’s, Smuckers, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show and many advertisers and TV programs worldwide
1945 ● John Barbata → Drummer for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), joined Jefferson Airplane in 1972 and remained through 1978 with Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), later sessions work
1946 ● Ronnie Lane / (Ronald Frederick Lane) → Bass player, songwriter and vocals for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), formed rock ‘n’ roll Slim Chance, “How Come” (UK #5, 1974), collaborated with Pete Townshend (Rough Mix, 1977) and issued several solo albums, died of multiple sclerosis on 6/4/1997, age 51
1947 ● M / (Robin Scott) → New Wave synth-pop one hit wonder electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Pop Muzik” (#1, 1979), producer and collaborator
1948 ● Jimmy Cliff / (James Chambers) → Pioneering ska and reggae singer, songwriter, bandleader, actor in the film The Harder They Come (1972) and singer of the title track, also “I Can See Clearly Now” (#18, 1993)
1948 ● Simon Cowe → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Gil Scott-Heron → Spoken-word, soul and jazz poet known for his critiques of politics, racism and the mass media society, highly influential progenitor of hip hop music and countless rappers, issued fifteen Top 25 Jazz Albums and seven Top 40 R&B albums along with multiple charting singles including “Angel Dust” (R&B #15, 1978) but never achieved fame beyond cult popularity, died after a brief illness related to HIV on 3/27/2011, age 62
1951 ● Henry Gross → Guitar and vocals in “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), at age 18 was the youngest performer at Woodstock, left the band in 1970 for a one hit wonder singer/songwriter solo career (“Shannon,” #6, 1976), continues to record and perform in the 10s
1952 ● Billy Currie → Keyboards for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Rob Wasserman → Grammy-winning stand up bass guitarist and composer with three acclaimed solo albums Solo (1983), Duets (1988) and Trios (1994) and session work with Neil Young, Elvis Costello and many others, co-founded RatDog with Bob Weir and toured extensively with Lou Reed, died from cancer on 6/29/2016, age 64
1954 ● Jeff Porcaro → Drummer for jazz-pop-rock Steely Dan in the mid-70s, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (#4, 1974), then sessions for Boz Scaggs, Warren Zevon, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and many others, formed arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1983), died of a heart attack from suspected cocaine use on 8/5/1992, age 38
1958 ● D. Boon / (Dennes Dale Boon) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for influential hardcore/punk rock trio The Minutemen, died in a car accident at the peak of the band’s underground popularity on 12/22/1985, age 27
1961 ● Mark White → Guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-dance-pop ABC, “The Look Of Love” (#18, 1982)
1961 ● Susan Boyle → Amateur Scottish singer, “I Dreamed A Dream” (2009), whose out-of-nowhere rise to fame (and fortune) resulted from her appearance on the UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent
1964 ● Leslie Langston → Bassist for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1965 ● Peter O’Toole → Bassist for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1977 ● Simon White → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1981 ● Hannah Louise Spearitt → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1986 ● Hillary Scott → Vocals and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009), solo
1994 ● Ella Eyre / (Ella McMahon) → Singer/songwriter and collaborator wish Rudimental on Brit Award 2014 Single of the Year “Waiting All Night’ (UK #1, 2013)

April 02
1912 ● Herbert Mills → Tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, performed with his last remaining brother, Donald until his death on 4/12/1989, age 77
1917 ● Lou Monte / (Louis Scaglione) → Novelty pop crooner and guitarist best known for his Italian-American dialect in parodies and children’s songs, including “Pepino The Italian Mouse” (#5, 1963) and the Christmas standard “Dominic The Donkey,” died on 6/12/1989, age 72
1928 ● Serge Gainsbourg / (Lucien Ginsburg) → French provocateur, ladies man and pop singer, duet with ingénue Jane Birkin, “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” (#69, UK #1, 1970), the first foreign language UK chart topper, died of a heart attack on 3/2/1991, age 62
1938 ● Warner Mack / (Warner MacPherson) → Country music singer with fourteen Country Top 20 hits and two crossover minor singles from 1957 to 1970, including the self-penned debut single “Is It Wrong (For Loving You)” (#61, Country #9, 1957)
1939 ● Marvin Gaye / (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) → Grammy-winning, highly talented and revered R&B/soul pioneer, first with R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, then Motown solo vocalist, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (#1, 1968), transformed to beloved social commentator, “What’s Goin’ On” (#1, 1973), shot dead by his father in a domestic dispute on 4/1/1984, age 43
1942 ● Parrot Castrodale / (Phil Castrodale) → First tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1942 ● Leon Russell / (Claude Russell Bridges) → Multi-instrumentalist, in-demand sessionman for multiple top-name rock artists on hundreds of albums in nearly every genre of pop and rock music, songwriter with dozens of hits recorded by others, including over 100 covers of Grammy-winning “A Song For You” (1970), bandleader for Joe Cocker‘s backing group, producer for albums by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and others, scratchy-voiced solo artist with two Top 20 hits (“Tight Rope,” #11, 1972 and “Lady Blue,” #14, 1975), recorded and performed until health issues forced his retirement, died in his sleep from heart failure on 11/13/2016, age 74
1943 ● Larry Coryell / (Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III) → Virtuoso guitarist and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion, started with Free Spirits and Gary Burton in the 60s, formed seminal fusion band The Eleventh House in the 70s, flipped between jazz and rock, electric and acoustic for the balance of his career and played alongside John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce and Charles Mingus, composed operas in his later years and died from heart failure in a New York City hotel while on tour on 2/19/2017, age 73
1944 ● Barry Pritchard → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died following a heart attack 1/11/1999, age 54
1946 ● Kurt Winter → Guitarist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), joined in 1970 to replace founder Randy Bachman, co-wrote “Hand Me Down World” (#17, 1970), left in 1974 to start a mattress business, died from kidney failure on 12/14/1997, age 51
1947 ● Emmylou Harris → Grammy-winning traditional- and neo-country singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, collaborator, solo artist , “Sweet Dreams” (Country #1, 1976)
1949 ● David Robinson → Drummer for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave synth-pop/guitar rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978)
1949 ● Richard Thompson → Folk-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, founding member of renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), solo, duo with wife Linda
1952 ● Dave Bronze → Session and touring bassist for Robin Trower, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies. Belinda Carlisle, Procol Harum and many others
1952 ● Leon Wilkeson → Bassist, backing vocals and occasional songwriting for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died from liver and lung failure on 7/27/2001, age 49
1956 ● Gregory Abbott → One hit wonder R&B/soul-urban pop-quiet storm singer/songwriter, “Shake You Down” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Keren Jane Woodward → Founding member and vocals for hugely successful Brit synth-dance-pop girl group Bananarama, covered “Venus” (#1, 1986)
1966 ● Garnett Silk / (Garnett Damoin Smith) → Rising star Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer and Rastafarian, “Hey Mama Africa” (UK #1, 1992), died trying to save his mother in an accidental house fire on 12/16/1996, age 28
1967 ● Greg Camp → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1971 ● Chico / (Yousseph Slimani) → Welsh Latin pop singer, “It’s Chico Time” (UK #1, 2006), reached the semi-finals of the 2005 season of the UK series The X Factor
1979 ● Jesse Carmichael → Keyboards for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1981 ● Scott Cain → Australian singer and winner of the third Australian Popstars competition, “I’m Moving On” (Aus. #1, 2002)
1983 ● Yung Joc / (Jasiel A. Robinson) → Hardcore/gangsta rapper, “It’s Goin’ Down” (#3, 2006)

April 03
1922 ● Doris Day / (Doris Von Kappelhoff) → Award-winning, virginal film heroine and family TV hostess, pop singer, “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” (#2, 1956)
1928 ● Don Gibson / (Donald Eugene Gibson) → Traditional and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (#7, Country #1, 1958) plus over 40 other Country Top 25 hits between 1956 and 1978, died 11/17/2003, age 75
1931 ● Gil Robbins / (Gilbert Lee Robbins) → Folk guitarist and singer, Air Force band conductor and member of the Cumberland Three with future Kingston Trio member John Stewart, joined the Harry Belafonte Singers and recorded five albums with The Highwaymen in the early 60s, acted in off-Broadway plays, including Month of Sundays (1968), How to Steal an Election (1968) and Mississippi Moonshine (1975)., father of actor Tim Robbins, died from prostate cancer on 4/5/2011, age 80
1936 ● Jimmy McGriff / (James Harrell McGriff) → Soul-jazz organist and bandleader, “All About My Girl” (#50, R&B #12, 1963), died from complications of multiple sclerosis on 5/24/2008, age 72
1938 ● Jeff Barry / (Joel Adelberg) → Brill Building pop-rock songwriter, singer, record producer, husband of noted songwriter Ellie Greenwich, with whom he co-wrote “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Leader Of The Pack” for The Shangri-Las (#1, 1964) and “I Can Hear Music” for The Beach Boys (#24, 1969), among dozens of other 60s hits
1938 ● Philippé Wynne / (Philippé Walker) → Co-lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, left in 1977 for a largely unsuccessful solo career, died of a heart attack on a nightclub stage on 7/14/1984, age 46
1941 ● Jan Berry / (William Jan Berry) → Singer in seminal surf music duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), died on 3/26/2004 after years of poor health following a 1966 auto accident, age 63
1942 ● Wayne Newton / (Carson Wayne Newton) → Stage and screen star, pop music solo act, “Danke Schoen” (#13, Adult Contemporary #3, 1963), consummate Las Vegas showman and local real estate tycoon
1942 ● Billy Joe Royal → Light country-rock and pop singer, “Down In The Boondocks” (#9, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits in the 60s and 70s, then ten Country Top 20 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured regularly until he died in his sleep on 10/6/2015, age 73
1943 ● Joe Vann / (Joseph Canzano) → Lead vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962), died 2/28/1984, age 40
1943 ● Richard Manuel / (Richard George Manuel) → Canadian-born keyboardist, occasional drummer, songwriter and tenor vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970) (“Up On Cripple Creek,” #25, 1970), committed suicide in a Florida motel room following a performance on 3/4/1986, age 42
1943 ● Artie Traum / (Arthur Roy Traum) → Award-winning Greenwich Village and Woodstock folk and smooth jazz singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with ten solo albums, another four with his brother, Happy Traum, and numerous appearances and production credits with The Bandd, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, James Taylor and many others, later career as a documentary filmmaker, died from liver cancer on 7/20/2008, age 65
1944 ● Lois Wilkinson → With partner Andrea Simpson, one half of the British Invasion pop-rock girl duo The Caravelles, “You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry” (#3, 1963)
1944 ● Tony Orlando / (Michael Anthony Orlando Casavitis) → AM Pop star singer, leader of the vocal group Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971), Las Vegas showroom icon
1946 ● Dee Murray / (David Murray Oates) → Bassist for numerous rock and pop acts, most notably the Elton John band, died from a stroke after a long bout with cancer on 1/15/1992, age 45
1951 ● Mel Schacher → Bassist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966), then formed hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973)
1956 ● Judie Tzuke / (Judith Myers) → UK pop singer/songwriter, “Stay With Me Till Dawn” (1979) ranks #39 of 50 top songs in the BBC Best of British – 50 Golden Years of Popular Music from 2002
1961 ● Eddie Murphy / (Edward Regan Murphy) → Stand-up comedian, comic screen actor (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984), Saturday Night Live cast member, sometime pop singer, “Party All The Time” (#2, 1985)
1962 ● Mike Ness / (Michael James Ness) → Co-founder, lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996)
1962 ● Simon Raymonde → Bassist for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1963 ● Christopher Michael “Criss” Oliva → Co-founder with his brother Jon and lead guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns,” Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), died at the peak of the band’s popularity in a car collision caused by a drunk driver on 10/17/1993, age 30
1968 ● Sebastian Bach / (Sebastian Bierk) → Canadian-born frontman and lead vocals for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1996 for a moderately successful solo recording and Broadway and TV acting career
1970 ● Matthew Priest → Drummer for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1974 ● Drew Shirley → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1985 ● Leona Lewis → Contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “Bleeding Love” (#1, 2007), won the third series of Britain’s The X Factor in 2006, Billboard magazine’s “Top New Artist” for 2008

April 04
1913 ● Frances Langford → Hollywood actress and singer, introduced the since oft-covered “I’m In The Mood For Love” in 1935, veteran of Bob Hope‘s USO tours during World War II, starred in multiple pre- and post-war musicals, appeared on TV as a host or guest on numerous variety programs through the early 60s, died from congestive heart failure on 7/11/2005, age 92
1915 ● Muddy Waters / (McKinley Morganfield) → Grammy-winning Chicago blues giant, “Mannish Boy” (R&B #5, 1955), major inspiration for the British blues-rock explosion of the 60s, Rolling Stone magazine #17 Greatest Artist of All Time, died in his sleep from heart failure on 4/30/1983, age 68
1922 ● Elmer Bernstein → Golden Globe, Emmy and Academy Award-winning film score composer and music conductor with a 50-plus year career and over 200 film scores and TV themes, among them The Magnificent Seven (1960, also used in Marlboro cigarette ads), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Airplane! (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and various National Geographic specials, died of cancer on 8/18/2004, age 82
1928 ● Maya Angelou / (Marguerite Annie Johnson) → One of the most important African-American authors, artists, social activists and educators of all time, wrote the best-selling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969) and seven autobiographies, three books of essays, numerous books of poetry, screenplays, and recorded a single album of calypso music, Miss Calypso (1957), died from natural causes on 5/28/2014, age 86
1932 ● Clive Davis → Hugely successful, Grammy-winning record company executive responsible for signing and promoting many of rock and pop music’s biggest names over a five-decade career, first with Columbia Records which he transformed into a rock music powerhouse in the 70s, then with upstart Arista Records and his own label, J Records, more recently as Chairman and CEO of RCA Music Group and chief creative officer for Sony Music Entertainment
1936 ● Margo Sylvia → Vocals and songwriter for R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957), died on 10/29/1991, age 55
1938 ● Declan Mulligan → Irish guitarist for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964)
1938 ● Michael Parks → One hit wonder pop singer and TV actor with various smaller roles in the 60s, best known as the star of the series Then Came Bronson (1969-1970) and for singing the theme song for the show, “Long Lonesome Highway” (#20, 1969), appeared in over two dozen films through 2015
1939 ● Major Lance → Chicago good-time R&B/soul singer, “The Monkey Time” (#8, R&B #2, 1963), died of heart failure on 3/9/1994, age 55
1939 ● Hugh Masekela / (Ramapolo Hugh Masekela) → The “father of South African jazz ,” trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and singer best known in the U.S. as a one hit wonder pop artist for his instrumental hit “Grazing In The Grass” (#1, R&B #1, CAN #6, 1968), issued over 50 albums during his career, many during a 30-year exile from his homeland for his anti-apartheid views and music, played with other African musicians on Paul Simon‘s Graceland tour in the mid-80s, continued to record and perform until his death from prostate cancer on 1/23/2018, age 78
1940 ● Sharon Sheeley → Successful early rock ‘n’ roll songwriter, wrote “Poor Little Fool” for Ricky Nelson (#1, 1958) and “Somethin’ Else” for Eddie Cochran (#58, 1959), was Cochran’s “unofficial fiancé” and survived the taxi crash that killed Cochran in 1960, died following a cerebral hemorrhage on 5/17/2002, age 62
1941 ● Michael Z. Gordon → Musician, composer, record producer and film screenwriter, frontman and songwriter for two contemporaneous surf-rock bands in the 60s, The Routers (“Let’s Go (Pony),” #19, 1962) and The Marketts (“Out Of Limits,” #3, 1964), later composed music for multiple TV shows and feature films, including the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction (1994)
1942 ● Kris Jensen / (Peter Kristian Jensen) → One hit wonder pop singer with J.D. Loudermilk‘s “Torture” (#1, 1962), a song The Everly Brothers turned down, recorded several dozen other songs without success and drifted into obscurity in the late 60s
1945 ● Knox Carnochan / (Ian Carnochan) → Founding member and vocals for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1946 ● Dave Hill → Lead guitarist and backing vocals for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984)
1948 ● Pick Withers / (David Withers) → Original drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983), left the band in 1982
1948 ● Berry Oakley / (Raymond Berry Oakley III) → First bassist for Southern blues-rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” (#77, 1972), died in a motorcycle accident on 11/11/1973, age 24
1949 ● Junior Braithwaite / (Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite) → Co-founding member and vocals for roots reggae The Wailers, left Jamaica in 1964 to pursue a medical career in Chicago, returned in 1984 for a Wailers reunion album and tour, murdered on 6/2/1999, age 50
1950 ● Pip Pyle / (Phillip Pyle) → Journeyman drummer for several Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion bands over a 40 year career, including Gong, Hatfield And The North, In Cahoots and National Health in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, died on 8/28/2006, age 56
1951 ● Steve Gatlin → Elementary school teacher turned country music singer, first with Tammy Wynette‘s band and later with brothers Larry and Rudy in Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, issued two albums as a solo artist and currently tours as a motivational speaker
1951 ● Graeme Kelling → Guitarist in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), died from pancreatic cancer on 6/10/2004, age 53
1952 ● Gary Moore → Guitarist for Irish blues-rock band Skid Row, plus three short stints with hard rock Thin Lizzy, “Waiting For An Alibi” (UK #9, 1979), solo, “Still Got The Blues” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1990), found dead in his vacation hotel room in Spain on 2/6/2011. age 58
1962 ● Craig Adams → Bassist and songwriter for goth-rock The Sisters of Mercy, then hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989) and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990),
1963 ● David Gavurin → Guitarist for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1963 ● Nigel Preston → Founding member and drummer for post-punk/goth rock The Cult, “She Sells Sanctuary” (UK #15, 1985), fired from the band for erratic behavior, worked with Nile Rodgers and DeLuca before a prison stint for armed robbery, died from a drug overdose on 4/1/1992, age 29
1966 ● Mike Starr → Original bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), died from an apparent methadone overdose on 3/8/2011, age 44
1968 ● Mark Yates → Guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1970 ● Mix Master Mike Schwartz / (Michael Schwartz) → DJ for hardcore punk then blue-eyed hip hop masters the Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right” (#7, 1987)
1972 ● Jill Scott → Actress (as Big Mama Thornton in Hounddog, 2007), poet, songwriter and R&B/soul singer, “A Long Walk” (#43, R&B #9, 2001)
1972 ● Magnus Sveningsson → Bassist for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1973 ● Kelly Price → R&B/pop singer, backing vocals for Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans, Mase and Notorious B.I.G., and solo, “Friend Of Mine” (#12, 1998)
1974 ● Andre Dalyrimple → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1975 ● Phil A. Jimenez → Vocals and percussion for post-grunge Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag” (Modern Rock #7, 2001)
1978 ● Lemar Obika → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, appeared on BBC TV talent show Fame Academy, “Dance (With You)” (UK #3, 2002)
1980 ● Johnny Borrell → Guitar and vocals for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)

April 05
1906 ● Lord Buckley / (Richard Myril Buckley) → Sophisticated and influential Beat poet, comedian, stage performer, spoken word recording artist and proto-rapper, influenced Lenny Bruce, Wavy Gravy, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett, died following a stroke on 11/12/1960, age 54
1911 ● Goddard LiebersonColumbia Records executive responsible for introducing the long-play record (LP) at the label in the early 50s, served as president of Columbia/CBS from 1956 to 1971 and from 1973 to 1975 and as president of the Recording Industry Association of America from 1964 to 1977, died from cancer on 5/29/1977, age 66
1922 ● Gale Storm / (Josephine Cottle) → TV star in early sitcom My Little Margie (1952-1955) and pop vocalist with three Top 10 hits, including a cover of early rock ‘n’ roller “I Hear You Knockin'” (#2, 1956), found bit parts on TV in he 80s and acted in regional theater, died from natural causes on 6/27/2009, age 87
1928 ● Tony Williams → Former parking lot attendant turned lead tenor for hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, left the group in 1960 for a mildly successful solo career, died of emphysema on 8/14/1992, age 64
1929 ● Joe Meek / (Robert George Meek) → Brit 60s rock ‘n’ roll record producer, songwriter and film composer, produced The Tornados‘ hit “Telstar” (#1, 1961) among others, committed suicide after murdering his landlady on 2/3/1967, age 37
1931 ● “Cowboy Jack” Clement / (Jack Henderson Clement) → Country, pop and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and producer, “discovered” rockabilly Jerry Lee Lewis while working at Sun Records and produced Lewis‘s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (#3, Country #1, R&B #1, 1957), wrote “Guess Things Happen That Way” for Johnny Cash (#11, Country #1, 1958), from the 50s to the late 80s produced hundreds of albums for Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, U2 and many others, died from liver cancer on 8/8/2013, age 82
1932 ● Billy Bland → One hit wonder R&B singer and songwriter, “Let The Little Girl Dance” (#7, R&B #11, 1960), left the industry in 1963 and currently runs a soul food restaurant in Harlem
1933 ● Reggie Lavong / (Reginald Jerome Nelson) → Smooth-voiced R&B, soul and blues DJ best known as Dr. Jive on WWRL-AM in New York City in the 60s and later on WHAT in Philadelphia, became an executive promoting R&B artists for Capitol, Island and then MCA Records and a small business entrepreneur, moved to the financial world as a Wall Street stock broker before retiring, died from complications of an infection on 9/19/2017, age 84
1934 ● Stanley Turrentine / (Stanley William Turrentine) → The “Sugar Man,” tenor saxophone legend starting with blues and R&B bands in the 50s, played soul-jazz with Jimmy Smith and his own jam bands in the 60s, shifted to jazz fusion in the 70s and recorded albums for the CTI Records jazz label, continued to record and perform through the 90s despite nominal commercial success, died following a stroke on 9/12/2000, age 66
1935 ● “G” Grant / (Peter James Grant) → Brit movie actor turned rock band manager for The Nashville Teens, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and others, co-founder of Swan Song Records, died from a heart attack on 11/22/1995, age 60
1939 ● Ronnie White / (Ronald Anthony White) → Founding member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, who charted 18 Top 10 hits including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970), introduced Stevie Wonder to Motown chief Berry Gordy Jr., died of leukemia on 8/26/1995, age 56
1941 ● Dave Swarbrick → Important figure in the 60s British folk revival and in the development for electrified folk-rock, first with the Ian Campbell Folk Group and then on fiddle, mandolin, songwriting and vocals for renowned folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), after disbandment in 1979 played in multiple acoustic groups and as a session musician, issued a dozen solo albums through 2010, died from emphysema on 6/3/2016, age 75
1942 ● Allan Clarke → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock harmony group The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Crispian St. Peters / (Robin Peter Smith) → Folk-pop two hit wonder singer/songwriter, “The Pied Piper” (#4, UK #5, 1966) and “You Were On My Mind” (UK #2, 1967), died following a long illness on 6/8/2010, age 66
1944 ● Nick Caldwell / (Nicholas Caldwell) → Original member of R&B/soul vocal quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980) and 33 other R&B Top 40 hits from 1969 to 1991, continued to perform with the group until his death from congestive heart failure on 1/5/2016, age 71
1946 ● Dave Holland → Drummer with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1948 ● Kent Henry / (Kent Henry Plischke) → Rock guitarist with pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride, #4, 1970) and hard rock Steppenwolf in the 70s, died during intestinal surgery on 3/18/2009, age 61
1950 ● Anna Fältskog / (Agnetha Åse Fältskog) → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop quartet ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1951 ● Everett Morton → Drummer for multi-racial Brit ska revival band The Beat (known as the English Beat in the US), “Hand’s Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980)
1954 ● Stan Ridgeway → Frontman and distinctive baritone vocalist for alt indie rock Wall Of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio” (Mainstream Rock #41, 1982), then solo with “Goin’ Southbound” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1961 ● Jacob Slichter → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), authored book So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star (2004)
1964 ● Kid Reid / (Christopher Reid) → With Christopher “Play” Martin, one half of the positive-attitude hip hop musical duo Kid ‘N Play, “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#51, Rap #1, 1991), the duo branched into acting with film appearances and their own short-lived TV program
1966 ● Mike McCready → Lead guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1967 ● Troy Gentry → Country music singer and songwriter, one-half of the rough-hewed country/rock duo Montgomery Gentry (“Roll With Me,” #33, Country #1, CAN #66, 2003), died in a helicopter crash just before a performance near Trenton, NJ on 9/8/2017, age 50
1968 ● Paula Cole → Alt pop-rock dreamy 90s two hit singer/songwriter, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” (#8, 1997) and “I Don’t Want To Wait” (#11. 1997)
1973 ● Pharrell Williams → Grammy-winning rapper, fashion designer, and with Chad Hugo, one half of the hit songwriting/production duo The Neptunes, responsible for multiple pop, hip hop and R&B hits, including Britney Spears‘ “I’m A Slave 4 U” (Dance/Club #4, 2001), worked with Mase, Nelly and Kelis, solo US #1 album The Neptunes Present…Clones
1975 ● Juicy J / (Jordan Michael Houston) → Founding member, producer and MC for Memphis hip hop group Three 6 Mafia, “Stray Fly” (#18, R&B #9, 2005), later solo, “Bandz A Make Her Dance” (#29, Rap #5, 2012), produced tracks and albums for Ludacris, Lil Wayne and others

April 06
1918 ● Shakey Horton / (Walter Horton) → Influential blues harmonica player frequently referred to as “Big Walter,” session musician for Chess Records in Chicago in the 50s, played frequently with Muddy Waters, backed several notable blues musicians on their albums and issued four of his own, toured with Willie Dixon’s All-Stars and made guest appearances on albums by Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac, died from heart failure and alcohol abuse on 12/8/1981, age 63
1926 ● Sergio Franchi / (Sergio Franci Galli) → Italian pop ballad crooner, signed to RCA and moved to the U.S. for his debut album (Romantic Italian Songs, #17, 1962), issued 35 albums and made 24 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show before his death from a brain tumor on 5/1/1990, age 64
1929 ● André Previn / (André George Previn) → German-American jazz pianist, ten-time Grammy-winning film score composer and conductor for symphony orchestras in Houston, London, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, recorded hundreds of pieces in various genres and is considered one of the most versatile musicians of any era, charted one pop hit, “Like Young” (#46, 1959)
1937 ● Merle Haggard / (Merle Ronald Haggard) → Hugely successful and influential “Bakersfield Sound” traditional country guitarist, singer and songwriter with 38 Country #1 hits, including “Mama Tried” (Country #1, 1968) and “Workin’ Man Blues” (Country #1, 1969), plus 33 other Country Top 10 singles and ten crossover hits, inspired The Byrds, Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello and over 400 covers of “Today I Started Loving You Again,” died from pneumonia on 4/6/2016, his 79th birthday
1940 ● Don Myrick / (Donald Myrick) → Jazz-funk saxophonist, original member of Phoenix Horns Esq., the horn section for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), later session work for Phil Collins (sax solo on “One More Night,” #1 , 1985), Carlos Santana, Heaven 17 and others, died after being accidentally shot by a police officer during a narcotics investigation on 7/30/1993, age 53
1941 ● Phil Austin → Comedian, writer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre and the voice of the group’s best-known character, private eye Nick Danger, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, died from an aneurysm on 6/18/2015, age 74
1942 ● Anita Pallenberg → Fashion model, sometime actress known for roles in cult movies, 60s and 70s counterculture “It Girl” and muse to rock legends The Rolling Stones, had romantic relations with Brian Jones and, as rumored, with The Rolling Stones before taking up with Keith Richards and bearing two sons and a daughter with him, was exonerated from murder charges when a 17-year old boy shot himself in 1979 with a pistol in her bed in the suburban New York estate she shared with Richards, died from complications of hepatitis C on 6/13/2017, age 75
1944 ● John Stax / (John Edward Lee Fullager) → Original bassist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1947 ● Tony Connor → Drummer for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1951 ● Ralph Cooper → Drummer for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Christopher Franke → German keyboardist and composer for atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1960 ● Warren Haynes → Blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, solo artist, sideman and bandleader, founding member of power trio/jam band Gov’t Mule, “Drivin’ Rain” (Mainstream Rock #33, 2002), played with The Allman Brothers Band, David Allan Coe, the Dickie Betts Band, Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead plus numerous session and special projects with Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews, John Mayall and others
1961 ● Gene Eugene / (Eugene Andrusco) → Canadian-born child actor (TV shows Bewitched, Jake And The Fatman and others), record producer (owner and chief engineer at The Green Room recording studio in Los Angeles), founding member of Christian alt rock supergroup Lost Dogs and frontman for innovative Christian funk-rock Adam Again, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/20/2000, age 38
1962 ● Stan Cullimore / (Ian Peter Cullimore) → Guitarist for Brit jangle guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), author of children’s books
1965 ● Black Francis / (Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) → Guitarist and singer with influential alt melodic rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), formed Frank Black and the Catholics in 1993, reunited Pixies in 2004, plus over 10 solo albums.
1968 ● Joe Gittleman → Bassist for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997) and other bands, assistant professor of music at a Vermont college
1978 ● Myleene Klass → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), now TV host and model

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 24 – 30)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 24
1912 ● Nervous Norvus / (Jimmy Drake) → Two hit wonder pop singer/songwriter whose song “Transfusion” (#6, 1956) about blood loss following car crashes is perhaps the strangest Top 40 hit of all time, fell back into obscurity after his second hit “Ape Call” (#24, 1956) and died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/24/1958, age 56
1922 ● Dave Appell → Pioneer music business executive, session band frontman, producer, publisher and arranger, worked with Cameo/Parkway records in the 50s and early 60s as a writer and frontman for the label’s house band, The Applejacks (“Mexican Hat Rock,” #16, 1958), co-wrote “Let’s Twist Again” (#8, 1961) for Chubby Checker and “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) for The Dovells, among other hits, co-produced “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando And Dawn, died from natural causes on 11/18/2014, age 92
1935 ● Carol Kaye / (Carol Kaye Smith) → Hugely prolific session bassist, played in over 10,000 recording sessions for Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Simon & Garfunkel, Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and many others, performed on TV theme songs for Kojak, M*A*S*H, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza and others, music instruction author and teacher
1936 ● Don Covay / (Donald James Randolph) → R&B, rock and soul singer and songwriter, scored a Top 10 R&B hit with “See Saw” (#44, R&B #5, 1965) and charted twelve other minor hits but is best known for penning “Chain Of Fools” (#2, R&B #1, 1968) for Aretha Franklin, plus dozens of other songs for Gene Vincent, Connie Francis, Steppenwolff, Bobbie Womack, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones and others, died from a stoke on 1/31/2015, age 78
1937 ● Billy Stewart → Scat-style R&B/jazz singer, “Summertime” (#10, R&B #7, 1966), died along with three bandmembers when his car went off a bridge in North Carolina on 1/17/1970, age 32
1938 ● Holger Czukay / (Holger Schüring) → German musician and co-founder of early krautrock/avant-garde pop-rock Can, “Spoon” (GER #6, 1971) and “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), noted for pioneering ambient and “world music” genres and developing sampling as a recording technique, recorded and performed for decades until his death from undisclosed causes on 9/5/23017, age 79
1941 ● Michel Masser / (Michael William Masser) → Stockbroker-turned-composer, songwriter and producer of pop music, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for Diana Ross (“Touch Me In The Morning,” #1, 1973), Whitney Houston (“Greatest Love Of All,” #1, 1986), Natalie Cole (“Miss You Like Crazy,” #7, 1989) and others, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, died three years following a major stroke on 7/9/2015, age 74
1946 ● Colin Petersen → Australian drummer, record producer and erstwhile child actor, grade school classmate of Barry Gibb and acquaintance of Maurice Gibb, joined pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) in 1967 as drummer and first non-Gibb family bandmember, fired in August 1969 over partnership dispute and lost his rights to royalties in a court case, produced several albums for various artists in the 70s and disappeared from the music industry
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Drummer for hard rock/blues rock Spooky Tooth, later The Only Ones and Peter Frampton, sessions
1948 ● Lee Oskar → Danish harmonica player for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), solo, heads a high-end harmonica manufacturing concern
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Songwriter, guitarist, producer, solo artist (“Cruel To Be Kind,” #12, 1979) with 14 albums, bandleader for pub rock/proto-punk Brinsley Schwarz and trad rock ‘n’ roll Rockpile (“Teacher Teacher,” #51, 1981), produced albums for Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and others
1951 ● Dougie Thomson / (Douglas Campbell Thomson) → Bassist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1960 ● Nena / (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → One hit wonder (in the US) German singer and actress, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984) and seven Top 10 hits in Germany, now a school principal
1964 ● Zetro / (Steve Souza) → Vocalist for thrash metal bands Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet and, more recently, Hatriot with his two sons
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase / (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1970 ● Sharon Corr → With two sisters and brother, violinist in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1974 ● Chad Butler → Co-founding member and drummer for alt rock/CCM Switchfoot (“Dare you To Move,” #17, 2004)

March 25
1923 ● Bonnie Guitar / (Bonnie Buckingham) → One of the earliest female country-pop crossover singers with “Dark Moon” (#6, Country #14, 1957) plus eight other Country Top 40 hits, co-founded Dolton Records to energize her own music but instead brought R&B/doo wop The Fleetwoods (“Come Softly To Me,” #1, 1959) and instrumental/surf-rockThe Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run,” #2, 1960) to national prominence, as an audio engineer, record producer and label executive in the 60s was an extremely rare female in the top echelons of a vastly male-dominated music industry, largely retired in the 70s but performed occasionally until shortly before her death from natural causes on 1/12/2019, age 95
1934 ● Johnny Burnette / (John Joseph Burnette) → Rockabilly pioneer bandleader and singer, “You’re Sixteen” (#8, 1960), brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky, killed in a California lake boating accident on 8/14/1964, age 30
1938 ● Hoyt Axton / (Hoyt Wayne Axton) → Country singer and songwriter, “Boney Fingers” (Country #8, 1974), wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and others, including “The Pusher” for Steppenwolf (1968) and “Joy To The World” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1971), TV actor (Bionic Woman and McCloud), died of a heart attack on 10/26/1999, age 61
1942 ● Aretha Franklin / (Aretha Louise Franklin) → The undisputed “Queen of Soul,” Hall of Fame and Grammy-winning R&B/soul super-diva whose bold and influential style was rooted in gospel but blended jazz, rock, pop and later classical, charted more than 100 Billboard singles, 17 Top 10 pop hits and 20 R&B #1 hits, including her signature “Respect” (#1, R&B #1, 1967), which became an anthem for the civil rights, feminist and counterculture movements, performed for three presidential inaugural programs and topped Rolling Stones’ “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” (2010), died from pancreatic cancer on 8/16/2018, age 76
1946 ● Peter Daltrey / (Peter James Daltrey) → Co-founder, chief lyricist, lead vocals and keyboards for 60s Brit psych-rock cult band Kaleidoscope (“Flight From Ashiya,” 1967) and its successor band, Fairfield Parlour (“Bordeaux Rose,” 1970), following the band’s dissolution released several modest solo albums and collaborated with Ayreon, Clifford T. Ward and Damien Youth, contributed to Kaleidoscope archival releases and is currently working on a pictorial book and TV documentary of the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
1947 ● Brinsley Schwarz → Guitarist, frontman and namesake for early 70s pub-rock Brinsley Schwarz, briefly with roots rock Ducks Deluxe and later co-founded proto-punk The Rumour (which would become Graham Parker‘s backing band), continues to perform with Ducks Deluxe into the 10s
1947 ● Elton John / (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → Grammy-winning pop-rock and rock ‘n’ roll mega-star with over 40 Top 25 hits, from “Crocodile Rock” (#1, 1973) to “Candle In The Wind 1997” (#1, 1997)
1947 ● Jack Hall → Bassist for soulful Southern rock Wet Willie, “Keep On Smilin'” (#10, 1974), brother of frontman and lead vocalist Jimmy Hall, died on 5/17/1989, age 42
1947 ● Duncan Browne → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Journey” (UK #23, 1972), died of cancer on 5/28/1993, age 46
1948 ● Michael Stanley / (Michael Stanley Gee) → Bassist for folk-rock Silk, then solo, then frontman for the underrated hard rock Michael Stanley Band, “In The Heartland” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1949 ● Neil Jones → Guitarist for Welsh prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1951 ● Maizie Williams → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), solo
1960 ● Steve Norman → Guitar and saxophone for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1966 ● Jeff Healey → Blind Canadian blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Angel Eyes” (#5, 1989), lost his sight to a rare cancer when he was eight months old, died of cancer on 3/2/2008, age 41
1969 ● Cathy Dennis → R&B/dance-pop vocalist turned successful songwriter, “Touch Me All Night Long” (#2, 1991), co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002) and wrote other songs for Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and others
1971 ● Michael McKeegan → Bassist for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1974 ● Finley Quaye → Scottish reggae/hip hop singer, “Dice” (Dance #18, 2004), winner of the 1998 BRIT award winner for best male solo artist
1975 ● Juvenile / (Terius Gray) → New Orleans-based Southern/gangsta rapper, member of the hip hop group Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (R&B #23, 1999), then solo, “Slow Motion” (#1, 2004) featuring Soulja Slim
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → Vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock All Saints, “Never Ever” (UK #1, 1998)
1988 ● Ryan Lewis → DJ, musician, producer and professional photographer/videographer, one half of the Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Lewis, “Thrift Shop” (Best Rap Song Grammy, #1, R&B #1, 2012) and oft-partner with rapper Macklemore in other projects

March 26
1917 ● Rufus Thomas → Memphis R&B/funk-soul singer and comedian, “Do The Funky Chicken” (#28, R&B #5, 1970), father of R&B/soul singer Carla Thomas, died from heart failure on 12/15/2001, age 84
1921 ● Julie Harris → Oscar- and BAFTA-winning British costume designer whose work included James Bond films and The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night and Help!, for which she later quipped “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked,” died following a brief illness on 5/30/2015, age 94
1934 ● Alan Arkin → American actor, director, musician and singer, scored a Top Ten hit as a member of folk-pop The Tarriers, “Cindy, Oh Cindy” (#9, 1956), starred in dozens of films and TV movies and series, including Catch 22 (1970) and Edward Scissorhands (1990)
1936 ● Fred Parris → Leader and vocals for long-running R&B/doo wop The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1944 ● Diana Ross / (Diane Ernestine Earle Ross) → Motown R&B/soul-pop diva, lead vocals and eventual frontwoman for The Supremes, “Baby Love” (#1, 1964), then highly successful solo career, “Endless Love” (#1, 1981) and 22 other Top 40 hits
1946 ● Johnny Crawford / (John Ernest Crawford) → Child character actor, original Mouseketeer on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club, co-star of Western series The Rifleman, short-lived teen-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in 1962-63, including “Cindy’s Birthday” (#8, 1962), continued to act on TV through the 90s in various bit parts
1948 ● Ned Doheny → West Coast singer/songwriter, first artist signed to David Geffen‘s Asylum Records label, solo albums featured guests such as Glen Frey, Don Henley and Linda Ronstadtt, limited commercial success in the U.S. but significant popularity in Japan, wrote or co-wrote several minor chart hits plus songs covered by Chaka Khan, Average White Band and Dave Mason
1948 ● Richard Tandy → Keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1948 ● Steven Tyler / (Steven Victor Tallarico) → Frontman and lead vocals for long-lived, Grammy-winning hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1949 ● Fran Sheehan → Bassist for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1949 ● Vicki Lawrence / (Vicki Ann Axelrad) → Actress, comedienne, TV game show panelist and one hit wonder singer, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1950 ● Teddy Pendergrass → Lead singer for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), then successful solo career, “Love T.K.O.” (R&B #2, 1980), died on 1/13/2010 after colon cancer surgery
1953 ● Billy Lyall / (William Lyall) → Scottish keyboardist, vocalist and early member of tartan-clad, teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, then co-founded pop-rock Pilot (“Magic,” #1, 1974) and worked with the Alan Parsons Project before dying from AIDS-related causes on 12/1/1989, age 36
1955 ● Martin Price → Record shop owner and founding member of electro-dance/acid house 808 State, “Bombadin” (Dance/Club #3, 1994)
1957 ● Paul Morley → Music journalist, former New Music Express writer, band manager, producer and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1968 ● James Jonas Iha → Vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1968 ● Kenny Chesney → Contemporary country star singer and songwriter, “Never Wanted Nothing More” (#22, Country #1, 2007), and 19 other Country #1 hits, married to Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Chicago (2002) film actress Renée Zellweger
1971 ● John Hendy → Vocalist and rapper for Brit teen dance-pop/hip hop boy band East 17, “Stay Another Day” (UK #1, 1994), plus over 15 other UK Top 40 hits
1981 ● Jay Sean / (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) → Anglo-Indian singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, beatboxer and Bhangra-R&B fusion pioneer with Rishi Rich Project, “Dance With You” (UK #12, 2003), then solo, “Down” (#1, 2009) with Lil’ Wayne

March 27
1921 ● Philip Chess / (Fiszel Czyz) → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Leonard, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died at home on 10/18/2016, age 95
1934 ● Sarah Vaughan → Grammy-winning jazz singer, “Make Yourself Comfortable” (#6, 1955) and 8 other Top 20 hits, died from lung cancer on 4/3/1990, age 56
1940 ● Derrick Morgan → The “King of Ska,” Jamaican singer and pre-reggae, first-wave ska artist, held the top seven spots on the Jamaican pop music chart for one week in 1965, recorded the first song in the rocksteady genre, “Tougher Than Tough,” in 1966 and the first reggae song, “Seven Letters,” in 1967, produced albums for up-and-coming reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and others, continues to perform in ska/reggae oldies shows into the 10s
1941 ● Bunny Sigler / (Walter Sigler) → Pop, R&B and soul songwriter and producer whose work with the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff made him instrumental in creating the Philly Sound of the 70s soul music, fronted the house band Instant Funk and had several chart hits of his own, including “Let Me Party With You (Part 1)” (#43, R&B #8, 1978) while producing music for The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle and others, died following a heart attack on 10/6/2017, age 76
1942 ● Smitty Smith / (Michael Smith) → Early lineup drummer for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965), left in 1967 due to creative differences with frontman Paul Revere Dick and the band’s management, returned for the band’s hit “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) and moved to Hawaii following their final dissolution in 1975, died from internal bleeding on 3/5/2001, age 58
1947 ● Andy Bown / (Andrew Steven Bown) → Guitar and keyboards for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), sessions and gigs with Status Quo and Pink Floyd
1950 ● Tony Banks / (Anthony George Banks) → Founding member and keyboards for prog-rock turned pop-rock Genesis,”Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), mildly successful solo career
1953 ● Wally Stocker / (Walter Frederick Stocker) → Lead guitarist for pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), toured with Rod Stewart and Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1956 ● Wix Wickens / (Paul Wickens) → Brit multi-instrumentalist singer, composer, session and touring musician, worked with ‘Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Damned, Boy George, David Gilmour and others, member of Paul McCartney‘s touring band since 1989
1957 ● Billy Mackenzie → Vocals for New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), committed suicide on 1/23/1997, age 39
1959 ● Andrew Farris → Keyboards with his two brothers in Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1960 ● Jackie Chambers → Vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1962 ● Derrick McKenzie → Drummer for Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1964 ● Clark Datchler → Vocals and songwriter for underappreciated, one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), solo
1965 ● Johnny April → Bassist for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1970 ● Brendan Hill → Drummer for blues-rock jam quartet Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1970 ● Mariah Carey → Grammy-winning vocalist, songwriter and top selling 90s pop diva with five straight US #1 career-starting singles, plus Billboard Song of the Decade, “Fantasy” (#1, 2005)
1975 ● Fergie / (Stacy Ann Ferguson) → R&B/dance-pop vocalist and songwriter, former teen TV actress (Kids Incorporated) and teen pop Wild Orchid, now with hip-hop Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005) and solo, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 2007)
1988 ● Jessie J / (Jessica Ellen Cornish) → Blue-eyed soul, pop and hip hop genre-blending Brit singer and songwriter, “Domino” (#6, UK #1, 2012)
1990 ● Kimbra Lee Johnson → Grammy-winning New Zealand electropop and R&B singer, “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Gotye (Worldwide #1, 2011)

March 28
1890 ● Paul Whiteman → Early Big Band jazz-pop ensemble leader whose star-studded outfits influenced future performers, his versatile dance bands were immensely popular in the 20s and 30s and performed various genres in each show, the slower version of his hit “Ol’ Man River” (#1, 1928) won a posthumousGrammy Award in 2006, died from a heart attack on 12/29/1967, age 77
1915 ● Jay Livingston → Prolific stage and screen songwriter, in collaboration with lyricist Ray Evans wrote songs for over 100 films and stage productions, including three Academy Award winners, “Buttons and Bows” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950) and “Que Será, Será” (“Whatever Will Be, Will Be”) (1956), also co-wrote the theme music to the TV shows Bonanza and Mr. Ed, among others, died from natural causes on 10/17/2001, age 86
1937 ● Dean Webb → Mandolin for influential, progressive bluegrass and country-rock pioneers The Dillards, “It’s About Time” (#92, 1971)
1941 ● Charlie McCoy → Harmonica player and top Nashville sessionman, founding member of supergroup Area Code 615, solo career, “Boogie Woogie” (Country #22, 1974) plus member of country-rock Barefoot Jerry
1945 ● Chuck Portz / (Charles Portz) → Bassist for pop-rock The Turtles, “It Ain’t Me Babe” (#8, 1965), left in 1966 before the band reeled off 7 other Top 10 hits
1948 ● John Evan / (John Evans) → Keyboards for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1948 ● Milan B. Williams → Founding member, keyboards and backing vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk The Commodores (“Three Times A Lady,” #1, 1978 and “Nightshift,” #3, 1985), left the band in 1989 after allegedly refusing to appear on stage in South Africa, died from cancer on 7/9/2006, age 58
1949 ● Sally Carr / (Sarah Cecilia Carr) → Vocals for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1955 ● Reba McEntire → Hugely successful traditional and contemporary country singer, songwriter and bandleader, scored 22 Country #1 hits including “Somebody” (#35, 2004), TV actress
1962 ● Geo Grimes → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987), later with Deacon Blue and currently Simple Minds
1963 ● Andy Cousin → Bassist for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988), also played for The Mission UK, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990) and The Lucy Nation, “Alright” (1999) from the Austin Powers movie soundtrack
1965 ● Steve Turner → Founder, vocals and lead guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1966 ● Salt / (Cheryl James) → Vocals for female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#13, 1991)
1969 ● James Atkin → Vocals and guitar for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers”), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990)
1976 ● Dave Keuning → Guitar and backing vocals for synth-pop-rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1986 ● Lady Gaga / (Stefani Germanotta) → Electronic dance-pop singer, songwriter and fashion bug, “Just Dance” (#1, 2008) and “Poker Face” (Worldwide #1, 2008)

March 29
1918 ● Pearl Bailey → Well-known and respected but modest-selling Broadway, TV and Hollywood actress and blues-jazz-pop singer, scored a hit with “Takes Two To Tango” (#7, 1952), issued the Grammy-wining soundtrack album Porgy And Bess (#8, 1959), won a Tony Award for the title role in Hello, Dolly! (1967) and was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988, died from coronary artery disease on 8/17/1990, age 72
1930 ● Donny Conn / (Donald Claps) → Vocals and drummer for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1940 ● Astrud Gilberto → Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer, won Grammy Award for 1965 Record of the Year “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, Easy Listening #1, 1964), issued over 30 albums and a dozen singles in several languages through the 80s
1942 ● Eden Kane / (Richard Graham Sarstedt) → Pre-Beatles teen pop Brit singer, “Well I Ask You” (UK #1, 1961)
1943 ● Chad Allan / (Allan Kowbel) → Founding member, early frontman, lead vocals, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo artist, TV host
1943 ● Vangelis / (Evangelos O. Papathanassiou) → Greek keyboardist and electronic music composer, “Chariots Of Fire” (#1, 1982), started with prog rock Aphrodite’s Child, “Rain And Tears” (UK #29, 1968), auditioned with Yes and collaborated with Jon Anderson in pop-rock Jon & Vangelis, “I’ll Find My Way Home” (#51, 1982) before turning to film scores
1944 ● Terry Jacks → Canadian pop singer/songwriter with former wife Susan Pesklevits in pop-rock duo the Poppy Family, “Which Way You Goin’, Billy? (#2, 1969), then solo, “Seasons In The Sun” (#1, 1974), now environmental activist
1945 ● Speedy Keen / (John Keen) → Drums, vocals and songwriter for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), died unexpectedly on 3/12/2002, age 56
1945 ● Hardy Fox / (Hardy Winfred Fox Jr.) → Frontman, chief composer and creative wizard in avant-garde, non-conformist collective The Residents, over 45 years and more than 70 albums developed a deep cult following for the group’s deconstruction of popular songs and surreal, experimental music, all the while maintaining members’ anonymity through full masks, outrageous costumes, public denials and ever-changing pseudonyms, continued to record and provide creative direction until just before his death from brain cancer on 10/30/2018, age 73
1947 ● Bobby Kimball / (Robert Toteaux) → Lead vocals and namesake for arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1982)
1949 ● Dave Greenfield → Keyboards for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1949 ● Michael Brecker → Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer, collaborator with brother Randy in jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), worked on over 700 albums with appearances for James Taylor, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and countless others, member of the Saturday Night Live house band, died from complications of leukemia on 1/13/2007, age 57
1956 ● Patty Donahue → Lead singer for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), died of lung cancer 12/6/1996, age 40
1959 ● Perry Farrell / (Perry Bernstein) → Founder, frontman and vocals for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then formed hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), created the Lollapalooza concert tour program
1967 ● John Popper → Frontman, singer and harpist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1981 ● PJ Morton / (Paul Morton) → Singer and keyboardist in idiosyncratic soul-pop Maroon 5 (“Makes Me Wonder,” #1, 2007) and ten other Top 10 hits, also solo work and side projects

March 30
1913 ● Frankie Laine / (Francesco LoVecchio) → “Mr. Rhythm,” American jazz-pop singer, his “I Believe”, (UK #1, 1953) spent 18 weeks at the top of the UK chart, plus “Moonlight Gambler” (#3, 1957) and six other US Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died of heart failure on 2/6/2007, age 93
1914 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (John Lee Curtis Williamson) → The “Father of the Modern Blues Harp,” virtuoso blues harmonica player “Shake The Boogie” (Race Records chart #4, 1947), murdered while walking home from a nightclub performance in Chicago on 6/1/1948, age 34
1930 ● Rolf Harris → Aussie-born singer, artist, TV presenter and musician, “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” (#3, 1963)
1941 ● Graeme Edge → Drummer and songwriter for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1972), solo with the Graeme Edge Band
1943 ● Kenny Forssi → Original bassist for underground cult folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died of a brain tumor on 1/10/1998, age 54
1944 ● Ronnie Rice → Lead vocals and keyboards in Chicago-based, British Invasion-styled soft rock The New Colony Six, “Things I’d Like To Say” (#16, 1969), continues to perform in the Chicago area into the 10s
1945 ● Eric Clapton / (Eric Patrick Clapton) → Top-level blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with the Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, then long and acclaimed solo career, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974) and “Tears In Heaven” (#2, 1992), various collaborations
1948 ● Jim “Dandy” Mangrum / (James Mangrum) → Frontman and vocals for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974)
1950 ● Dave Ball → Guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, joining in 1971 to replace Robin Trower, played lead on the acclaimed Procol Harum Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra album, then formed hard rock Bedlam and played with Long John Baldry
1951 ● Matthew Kelly → Valet and tour assistant for soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmembers on 12/10/1967, age 16
1954 ● Lene Lovich / (Lili-Marlene Premilovich) → New Wave quirky dance-pop singer, “Lucky Number” (, 1979) and “New Toy” (Dance/Club #19, 1981)
1955 ● Randy VanWarmer → One hit wonder singer and songwriter for others, “Just When I Needed You Most” (#4, 1979), died of leukemia on 1/12/2004. age 48
1962 ● MC Hammer / (Stanley Kirk Burrell) → First mass audience rap star, “U Can’t Touch This” (#8, 1990), hip hop cultural icon, dancer, actor
1964 ● Tracy Chapman → Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Fast Car” (#6, 1988) and “Give Me One Reason” (#3, 1996)
1965 ● Tim Dorney → Keyboardist for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1966 ● Joey Castillo → Drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), left in 2012 and replaced Jason Bonham in California Breed in 2013
1967 ● Ace Kent / (Martin Kent) → Guitarist for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1968 ● Céline Dion → French-Canadian pop singer, “Because You Loved Me” (#1, 1996) and 12 other Top 25 hits
1973 ● DJ AM / (Adam Goldstein) → Club DJ and member of rap rock Crazy Town, “Butterfly” (#1, 2001), worked on albums with Blink 182, Madonna and Will Smith, died of an accidental drug overdose on 1/28/2009, age 36
1976 ● Mark McClelland → Bass guitar and co-founder of Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006), later with Little Doses
1979 ● Norah Jones / (Geethali N. J. Shankar) → Grammy-winning acoustic jazz-pop singer/songwriter and pianist, “Come Away With Me” (2002), daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar
1979 ● Simon Webbe → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1980 ● Paul Wall / (Paul Slayton) → Hip hop MC and DJ, hardcore rapper, “Girl” (Rhythmic Top 40 #3, 2006), also featured on “Grillz” (#1, 2005) by Nelly

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 17
1919 ● Nat King Cole / (Nathaniel Adams Coles) → Jazz pianist and bandleader turned pop singer, “Ramblin’ Rose” (#2, 1962) and 18 other Top 25 hits, TV host, father of soul-pop singer Natalie Cole and actress/producer Carole “Cookie” Cole, died from lung cancer on 2/15/1965, age 55
1937 ● Adam Wade → R&B/pop vocalist, “Take Good Care Of Her” (#7, 1961), TV and film actor, voice-overs
1937 ● Dean Mathis / (Louis Aldine Mathis) → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1937 ● Vincent Marcellino → Folk singer/songwriter and guitarist who scored a Top Ten hit fronting The Tarriers (“Cindy, Oh Cindy,” #9, 1956) with bandmate and future actor Alan Arkin, later sang with relatively unknown folksinger Fred Neil for an album of duets, Tear Down The Walls (1964) which launched Neil‘s career, issued several obscure solo albums, continues to perform and record
1938 ● Zola Mae Taylor / (Zoletta Lynn Taylor) → R&B, blues and soul singer and original female member of hugely successful doo wop quintet The Platters (“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” #1, 1958), left the band before legal infighting began in the mid-60s but became entangled in an 80s public soap opera as one of three women claiming to be 50s teen idol Frankie Lymon‘s widow, died from pneumonia following several strokes on 4/30/2007, age 69
1939 ● Clarence Collins → Co-founder and baritone for long-lived R&B/doo wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1941 ● Paul Kantner / (Paul Lorin Kantner) → Founding member, vocals and guitar for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane (“White Rabbit,” #8, 1967) and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975), which he fronted in various incarnations for 40 years, died from complications following a heart attack on 1/28/2016, age 74
1944 ● Bob Johnson → Guitar and vocals for Brit folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat’ (, 1975)
1944 ● John B. Sebastian → Frontman, guitarist and singer/songwriter for folk-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1966), then solo, “Welcome Back” (#1, 1976)
1944 ● Pat McAuley → Drummer and keyboards for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1944 ● Patty Boyd / (Patricia Anne Boyd) → Model, photographer and former wife of George Harrison (1966-77) and Eric Clapton (1979-89), possible inspiration for “I Need You” and “Layla,” among other Harrison and Eric Clapton love songs
1946 ● Harold Brown → Co-founder and drummer for R&B/funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), now Lowrider
1948 ● Fran Byrne → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1948 ● Patrick Lloyd → Bassist for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, UK #1, 1968)
1951 ● Scott Gorham → Guitarist for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1953 ● Kenny Lyons / (Kenneth Leo Lyons) → Founding member and first bassist for Southern hard rock .38 Special (“Caught Up In You,” #10, 1982) on their debut album but left before its release and faded into relative obscurity, died from undisclosed causes in a North Carolina medical center on 5/20/2012, age 59
1959 ● Mike Lindup → Keyboards for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1962 ● Clare Grogan → Frontwoman and vocals for Scottish post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), TV and film actress (Gregory’s Girl), VH1 presenter
1962 ● Janet Gardner → Founding member, rhythm guitar and vocals for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1962 ● Roxy Petrucci → Founding member and original drummer for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Michael Ivins → Bassist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1967 ● Billy Corgan → Frontman, songwriter, vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996), then Zwan and producer for Hole and others
1970 ● Gene Ween / (Aaron Freeman) → Founding member, vocals, guitar and songwriter for experimental alternative rock duo Ween, “Mutilated Lips” (1997)
1972 ● Melissa Auf der Maur → Second bassist for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998), toured with Smashing Pumpkins in 2000, solo and various collaborations
1973 ● Caroline Corr → With two sisters and brother, drummer and vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1975 ● Justin Hawkins → Flamboyant frontman, vocals, guitars and keyboards for glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Top 40 #35, 2004)
1976 ● Stephen Gately → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999), died from a pulmonary edema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition on 10/9/2009, age 33
1990 ● Hozier / (Andrew Hozier-Byrne) → Irish indie-rock, soul and blues singer/songwriter, wrote and performed Grammy Song Of The Year nominee “Take Me To Church” (#2, 2013)

March 18
1911 ● Smiley Burnette / (Smiley Burnette (Lester Alvin Burnett)) → Comedian, TV actor (Petticoat Junction, 1960s), singer, multi-instrumentalist, country-pop songwriter and movie soundtrack composer, wrote over 400 songs and performed many of them on stage and screen, often as sidekick to Gene Autry, including “Ridin’ Down the Canyon (To Watch the Sun Go Down),” died from leukemia on 2/16/1967, age 55
1929 ● George Scott → Blind from birth original member and vocals for spiritually-uplifting, five-time Grammy-winning gospel group Blind Boys Of Alabama, recorded more than 50 albums with the group over 70-plus years, retired from touring a year before his death from heart failure on 3/9/2005, age 76
1936 ● Robert Lee Smith → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1938 ● Carl Gottlieb → Screen and TV scriptwriter with credits including Jaws (1977) and episodes of All In The Family (1971-79), sometime actor, Writers Guild of America board member and co-author of two David Crosby autobiographies, Long Time Gone (1989) and Since Then (2006)
1938 ● Charley Pride / (Charley Frank Pride) → Grammy-winning country singer with 36 number one hits, including “I’d Rather Love You” (Country #1, 1971), the most successful African-American country star ever
1941 ● Wilson Pickett → Legendary R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “In The Midnight Hour” (#21, 1968), died of a heart attack on 1/19/2006, age 64
1942 ● Helen Gathers → With four other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and baritone vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), left the group in the late 60s and disappeared from the music industry, died from cancer on 2/13/2011, age 68
1943 ● Dennis Linde → Nashville-based country and pop music singer and songwriter with over 200 songs recorded by others, best known for penning Elvis Presley‘s hit “Burning Love” (#2, 1972) and Dixie Chicks‘ “Goodbye Earl” (#19, Country #13, 2000), wrote or co-wrote songs for Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and many others, died from pulmonary fibrosis on 12/22/2006, age 63
1945 ● Eric Woolfson / (Eric Norman Woolfson) → Scottish songwriter, lyricist pianist, producer and co-creator of prog rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981), wrote musicals and released a solo album, died from kidney cancer on 12/2/2009
1947 ● B.J. Wilson / (Brian James Wilson) → Drummer in R&B/blues The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), fell into a coma following a car accident and died several months later on 10/8/1990, age 43
1948 ● Bobby Whitlock / (Robert Stanley Whitlock) → Session musician for Stax Records then R&B/blue-eyed soul singer, member of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Derek And The Dominos and George Harrison‘s backing band, session work on The Rolling StonesExile On Main Street album, retired to farm in Mississippi
1950 ● John Hartman → Co-founder and drummer for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), left in 1979 but returned for 1987-1992
1959 ● Irene Cara (Irene T. Escalera) → R&B/disco-pop singer, “Flashdance…What A Feelin'” (#1, 1983), actress who played Coco Hernandez in the movie Fame (1983)
1960 ● James McMurtry → Texas rock, folk-rock and Americana singer, songwriter, occasional actor, guitarist and bandleader with twelve solo albums including Complicated Game (US Indie Rock #39, 2015) and a single hit, “Painting By Numbers” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1989), appeared in the film Daisy Miller (1974) and the TV miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), member of country-rock supergroup Buzzin’ Cousins with John Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely and Dwight Yoakam
1961 ● Grant Hart / (Grantzberg Vernon Hart) → Founding member, co-songwriter and drummer for early post-punk hardcore trio Hüsker Dü (“Makes No Sense At All,” UK Indie #2, 1985), after breakup formed hard rock Nova Mob in 1988 and released several solo al ums in the 90s and 00s, died from liver cancer on 9/13/2017, age 56
1963 ● Jeff LeBar → Guitarist for Philly glam-rock Cinderella, “Shelter Me” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1990)
1963 ● Vanessa L. Williams → Model and disgraced Miss America winner turned successful actress and R&B/pop vocalist, “Save The Best For Last” (#1, 1992)
1964 ● Courtney Pine → Multi-instrumentalist jazz musician and composer of TV and film music, “Children Of The Ghetto” (UK Top 10, 1986), also worked with Charlie Watts, Mica Paris, Trevor Jones and Jazz Warriors
1966 ● Jerry Cantrell → Guitars, vocals and songwriting for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), solo, “My Song” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1998)
1967 ● Miki Berenyi → Guitar and lead vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1967 ● Robert Harrison → Singer and guitarist for unheralded power pop Cotton Mather, “My Before And After” (1998), now fronts indie pop-rock Future Clouds & Radar
1970 ● Queen Latifah / (Dana Elaine Owens) → First bona fide female rap star (with first gold LP by a female MC), “U.N.I.T.Y.” (#23, Hot Rap #2, 1993), Emmy and Golden Globe-winning TV and film actress, talk show host, eponymous cosmetics product line
1974 ● Stuart Zender → Bassist in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1977 ● Devin Lima / (Harold Lima) → Vocals for pop/rap trio LFO (“Lyte Funkie Ones” or “Low Frequency Oscillator”), “Summer Girls” (#3, 1999), formed The Cadbury Diesel in 2007
1979 ● Adam Levine → Guitar and lead vocals for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1979 ● Shola Ama / (Mathurian Campbell) → Brit soul-pop singer, “You’re The One I Love” (UK #3, 1997)
1985 ● Marvin Humes → Vocals for Brit teen pop boy-band JLS (“Jack The Lad Swing”), “Everybody In Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #38, 2010)

March 19
1928 ● Tom Paley / (Allan Thomas Paley) → Guitarist, banjo and fiddle player who worked with Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly in the 50s, then co-founded and became the witty showman of folk revival stalwarts The New Lost City Ramblers, the band issued 11 albums, performed nationally and is widely credited with spearheading the old-time music craze of the late 50s and early 60s, his music influenced Bob Dylan and he later mentored Jerry Garcia and Ry Cooder on the acoustic guitar and collaborated with others in various folk music projects, died from failing health on 9/30/2017, age 89
1937 ● Frogman Henry / (Clarence Henry) → R&B/blues and soul singer with a trademark croak to his singing, best exemplified on “Ain’t Got No Home” (#20, R&B #3, 1956), scored two other Top 20 hits, including “But I Do” (#4, R&B #9, 1961), opened for 18 Beatles concerts in the U.S., continues to perform at various New Orleans conventions into the 10s
1944 ● Tom Constanten → Classically-trained keyboardist and composer, member of the Grateful Dead from 1966-1970, remained in the Dead‘s periphery and has issued several collaborative albums with Robert Hunter and others
1946 ● Ruth Pointer → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1946 ● Paul Atkinson → Guitarist in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), later became a recorded company A&R executive for Columbia and RCA, discovered ABBA, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest and Michael Penn, died from liver and kidney failure on 4/1/2004, age 58
1952 ● Derek Longmuir → With his older brother, Alan, founding member and drummer for Scottish tartan-clad, teen-pop 70s boy group Bay City Rollers, left the music industry in 1981 after appearing on all nine BCR albums, worked as a hospital nurse until convicted of possessing child pornography (a charged he and his family denied), later reinstated to the nursing registry
1953 ● Billy Sheehan → Bass guitarist for pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big, “To Be With You” (#1, 1992), also worked with Steve Vai and David Lee Roth
1953 ● Phil Mitchell / (Philip Henry Mitchell) → Bass guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Ricky Wilson / (Ricky Helton Wilson) → Guitarist and founding member (with sister Cindy) of New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989), died from AIDS/HIV on 10/12/1985, age 32
1955 ● Bruce Willis → Action film actor (Die Hard series) and occasional pop singer with two albums, two modest hits and a Top 5 single, “Respect Yourself” (#5, 1987)
1959 ● Terry Hall → Frontman and lead vocals for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy Three, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), formed The Colourfield, “Thinking Of You’ (UK #12, 1985)
1971 ● Jack Bessant → Bassist for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow

March 20
1906 ● Ozzie Nelson / (Oswald George Nelson) → Bandleader, radio host and TV actor, director and producer, fronted swing/easy listening The Ozzie Nelson Band in the 30s and 40s (“And Then Some,” #1, 1935) with his wife, Harriet on second vocal, developed and produced The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet (with their sons, David and Ricky) on radio in 1944 and moved to TV in 1952, appeared on TV for a final time in 1973 and died from liver cancer on 6/3/1975, age 69
1917 ● Dame Vera Lynn / (Vera Lynn Welch) → Enormously popular World War II-era touring singer and actress whose career continued after the war with hits in the 50s (“Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart,” #1, UK #10, 1952) and a UK #1 album in 2009 (We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn), making her the oldest living artist with a top-ranked album ever
1922 ● Larry Elgart / (Lawrence Joseph Elgart) → 40s-50s swing, dance and jazz-pop bandleader, with his brother, Les, recorded the original version of “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, and later rode the disco wave with his own medley composition, “Hooked On Swing” (#31, AC #20, 1982), died from natural causes on 8/29/2017, age 95
1935 ● Sam Lay → Chicago blues, jazz and rock drummer and vocalist, performed and recorded with many blues greats, including Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, joined The Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-60s, recorded and toured with Bob Dylan and the Chess Records All-Stars and has issued several albums of his own since 1969, his home movies of fellow blues performers in various Chicago venues in the 50s and 60s were featured in the PBS special History Of The Blues (2003)
1936 ● Lee “Scratch” Perry / (Rainford Hugh Perry) → Grammy-winning producer, mixer, songwriter and pioneer in the development of the “dub” subgenre of reggae music, worked with Bob Marley & The Wailers, Junior Murvin, The Heptones and others
1937 ● Joe Rivers → One half of the R&B vocal duo Johnnie & Joe, “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” (#8, R&B #3, 1957) and two other R&B Top 20 hits in 1957, played the oldies circuit and recorded a 1982 album
1937 ● Jerry Reed / (Jerry Reed Hubbard) → The “Guitar Man,” Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist, “Amos Moses” (#8, 1971), sessionman, TV and screen actor (Smokey And The Bandit, 1977), died from emphysema on 9/1/2008, age 71
1940 ● Rod Lauren / (Rod Lawrence Strunk) → One hit wonder pop singer (“If I Had A Girl,” #31, 1960), nightclub entertainer, bit part TV actor and one role B-movie star (The Crawling Hand, 1963), husband and suspected murderer of Filipino TV actress Nida Blanca, left the Philippines in 2002 and fought extradition from the U.S., committed suicide by jumping from a second-story hotel balcony on 6/12/2007, age 67
1941 ● Vito Picone → Frontman, lead singer and one of two remaining original members of teenage doo wop quintet The Elegants (“Little Star,” #1, R&B #1, 1958), bit-part TV and film actor (Goodfellas, The Sopranos and others, most recently hosts a New York City weekly nostalgia and music variety radio program
1942 ● Robin Luke / (Robert Luke) → One hit wonder teen pop/rockabilly singer and songwriter, “Susie Darlin'” (#5, 1958), later earned a Ph.D. in business administration and headed the Marketing Department at Missouri State University
1950 ● Carl Palmer → Progressive rock drummer and percussionist, first with Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (, 1971), then supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer, “From The Beginning” (#39, 1972), and later Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982)
1951 ● Jimmie Vaughan → Blues-rock guitarist and singer, founded Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986), solo, brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, with whom he played occasionally and released one “duo album,” Family Style (1990), released just after Stevie Ray’s death on 8/27/1990
1956 ● Phonso Martin / (Alphonso Martin) → Percussion and vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), left in 1991 to pursue interests outside of music
1959 ● Owen If / (Ian Frederick Rossiter) → Drummer for Brit electronic dance/rap Stereo MC’s, “Connected” (#20, Modern Rock #5, 1992)
1959 ● Richard Drummie → Guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Slim Jim Phantom / (James McDonnell) → Drummer with rockabilly revival Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#3, 1983)
1967 ● Shutty Shuttleworth / (David Shuttleworth) → Drummer for hard rock/heavy metal Spoilt Bratz and Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1968 ● Fredrik Schönfeldt → Guitars and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1972 ● Alexander Kapranos → Vocals for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1972 ● Shelly Poole / (Michelle Lena Poole) → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1976 ● Chester Bennington → Vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001), found dead in his home from a suspected suicide on 7/20/2017, age 41
1982 ● Nick Wheeler → Lead guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

March 21
1902 ● Son House, / (Eddie James House, Jr.) → Innovative and influential Delta blues and gospel slide guitarist and vocalist, recorded first in the 30s and for the Library of Congress in 1941 but drifted into obscurity until being “rediscovered” in 1964 during the folk-blues revival, toured and recorded thereafter extensively, influenced Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat) and others, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 10/19/1988, age 86
1923 ● Mort Lindsey / (Morton Lippman) → Orchestra leader, TV and film soundtrack composer, pianist and musical director for Judy Garland‘s four-time Grammy-winning concert album Judy At Carnegie Hall (#1, 1961) and Barbra Streisand‘s 1967 TV concert A Happening In Central Park, won two Emmy’s as the 25-year musical director for The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986), died following a long illness on 5/4/2012, age 89
1930 ● Otis Spann → Chicago blues keyboardist and guitarist, member of Muddy Waters‘ band from 1952 to 1968 while concurrently working as a session musician for Chess Records and on solo albums, worked with B. B. King, Eric Clapton, James Cotton and others, died from liver cancer on 4/24/1970, age 40
1940 ● Solomon Burke → The “King of Rock & Soul,” early and influential Grammy-winning R&B/classic soul singer, “Got To Get You Off My Mind” (#22, R&B #1, 1965) and 14 other R&B Top 20 hits but never achieved the recognition afforded peers James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, died from a suspected pulmonary embolism onboard a commercial airliner while flying from Washington, DC to a sold-out show in The Netherlands on 10/10/2010, age 70
1941 ● John Boylan → Songwriter and producer for Rick Nelson, The Association, The Dillards and others, managed Linda Ronstadt and handpicked her backing band in 1971, the session musicians who later became the Eagles
1943 ● Vivian Stanshall / (Victor Anthony Stanshall) → Eccentric 60s UK underground rock figure and founder of the comedy/satirical art rock outfit Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died in a fire at his home on 3/5/1995, age 52
1944 ● David Lindley → Top-rated and sought-after session musician, co-founded 60s American eclectic folk-rock cult band Kaleidoscope, recorded with Warren Zevon, Curtis Mayfield, Dolly Parton, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and others, key member of Jackson Browne‘s recording and touring band from 1971 to 1981, solo, “Mercury Blues” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1981)
1945 ● Sister Rose (aka Rosie Stone) Stewart / (Rosemary Stewart) → Platinum-wigged lead vocalist and keyboardist with her two brothers Sly and Freddie in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), solo and sessions for Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and others
1946 ● Ray Dorset → Founder, guitarist, vocals and chief songwriter for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), solo
1949 ● Eddie Money / (Edward Joseph Mahoney) → Police trainee turned rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Two Tickets To Paradise” (#22, 1977) and “Walk On Water” (#9, 1988)
1950 ● Roger Hodgson → Founding member, frontman, keyboards, vocals and chief hit songwriter for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), solo
1951 ● Conrad Lozano → Bassist for Tex-Mex roots/blues/country-rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Russell Thompkins, Jr. → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1953 ● Robert Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1956 ● Guy Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie psych-rock The House Of Love, “Shine On” (, 1990)
1957 ● John Reddington → Guitarist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1957 ● Sean Dickson → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for Scottish alt rock/indie dance-pop The Soup Dragons, “I’m Free” (#79, Modern Rock #2, UK #5, 1990), after 1995 disbandment formed alt rock The High Fidelity
1958 ● Butch Norton / (Jonathan Norton) → Drums and vocals for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997), then sessions and/or touring bands for Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Lisa Germano, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Rufus Wainwright and Lucinda Williams
1963 ● Share Ross / (Sharon Pedersen Ross) → Bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Shawn Lane → Jazz-rock guitar virtuoso, joined Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas as a teenager, left for a solo career, sessions and collaborations including with outlaw country The Highwaymen, died from respiratory failure on 9/26/2003, age 40
1966 ● DJ Premier / (Christopher Martin) → East Coast rap DJ and record producer, one half the hip hop duo Gang Starr, “Take It Personal” (Rap #1, 1992), recorded with The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and others, founder and chief of Year Round Records
1967 ● Joker Berggren / (Jonas Berggren) → Guitar and keyboards for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1967 ● Maxim / (Keith Palmer) → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1968 ● Andrew Copeland → Guitar and vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1977 ● Mark Hamilton → Founding member, bass, synthesizer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kevin Federline → Dancer, fashion model, tabloid fodder ex-husband of Britney Spears and pop-rap singer, “Lose Control” (2006)
1980 ● Bizzy D Whibley / (Deryck Whibley) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1989 ● Rochelle Humes / (Rochelle Wiseman Humes) → Singer, actress and TV host, member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

March 22
1916 ● George Wyle / (Bernard Weissman) → Orchestra leader and composer, wrote the theme song to 60s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, musical director for 70s variety program The Flip Wilson Show, served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers from 1979-2003, died on 5/2/2003, age 87
1930 ● Steven Sondheim → Eight-time Tony and Grammy award-winning composer and lyricist best known for writing A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and other music theater shows, wrote the lyrics to West Side Story, Gypsy and other films, wrote multiple hit songs, including “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man)” for Madonna (Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1991)
1932 ● Juke Boy Bonner / (Weldon Bonner) → Texas blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and poet who recorded numerous singles and several albums of mostly original material, including his best material on Arhoolie Records in the 60s, but never broke through to commercial success, died from cirrhosis of the liver on 6/29/1978, age 46
1936 ● Roger Whittaker → Internationally-acclaimed baritone pop singer and songwriter, “The Last Farewell” (#19, 1975), TV actor
1937 ● Johnny Ferguson → 50s Nashville disc jockey turned transatlantic one hit wonder country-pop singer with a cover version of John D. Loudermilk‘s “Angela Jones” (Top 30, 1960)
1941 ● Jeremy Clyde → One half of strings-backed British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964), TV actor
1943 ● George Benson → Grammy-winning jazz and R&B/pop guitarist and scat singer, “Give Me The Night” (R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Keith Relf → Guitars and vocals for hard rock Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), then prog rock Renaissance and hard rock Medicine Head, died from electrocution while playing his electric guitar in his basement on 5/14/1976, age 33
1944 ● Christopher Stainton → Session keyboardist and songwriter, started with Joe Cocker, later worked with Eric Clapton, The Who, Bryan Ferry,
Roger Waters and others
1947 ● Harry Vanda → Dutch-born lead guitarist for pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), later with pop-rock Flash And The Pan
1947 ● Patrick Olive → Percussionist and bassist for R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1948 ● Andrew Lloyd Webber → Highly successful Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and composer of musicals, often as collaborator with Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Evita (1976) and Phantom Of The Opera (1986)
1948 ● Randy Jo Hobbs → Bassist for pop-rock The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965), then with blues-rock Johnny Winter band, died from heart failure caused by years of drug abuse on 8/5/1993, age 45
1957 ● Stephanie Mills → Broadway star (The Wiz, 1975) turned Grammy-winning R&B/pop-disco diva, “Never Knew Love Like This Before” (#6, 1980)
1958 ● Peter Wylie → Singer and frontman for post-punk alt rock Wah!, “Story Of The Blues” (UK #3, 1982)
1963 ● Susanne Sulley → Vocals for synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1968 ● Mickey Dale → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1970 ● Andreas Johnson → Swedish pop-rock musician and songwriter, “Glorious” (UK #4, 1999)
1971 ● Steve Howell → Drummer for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994), now with Placebo
1979 ● Aaron Wright North → Guitarist for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1980 ● Shannon Rae Bex → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006), solo
1981 ● Shawn Mims → Jamaican-descent rapper, “This Is Why I’m Hot” (#1, 2007)
1986 ● Amy Studt → Brit contemporary pop singer, first hit at age 15 with “Just A Little Girl” (UK #14, 2002) and “Misfit” (UK #6, 2003)

March 23
1917 ● Stick McGhee / (Granville Henry McGhee) → Jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for the oft-covered blues and proto-typical rock ‘n’ roll song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (R&B #3, 1949), younger brother of electric blues guitarist Brownie McGhee, died of lung cancer on 8/15/1961, age 44
1925 ● Herb Hardesty / (Herbest Hardesty) → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll tenor saxophonist noted for his work with Fats Domino and solos on nearly every hit song, including “I’m Walking” (#4, R&B #1, 1957), also recorded or toured with Lloyd Price, Tony Bennett, Tom Waits and others over 50 years, performed with Dr. John in various New Orleans festivals until just a few years before his death from cancer on 12/3/2016, age 91
1932 ● Louisiana Red / (Iverson Minter) → Flamboyant Southern blues guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player, recorded over 50 albums plus guest appearances and collaborations, best known for “Sweet Blood Call” (1975), died following a stroke on 2/25/2012, age 79
1938 ● Irwin Jesse Levine → Pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys plus “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando & Dawn and other top hits, died from renal failure on 1/21/1997, age 58
1940 ● Janis Martin → The “Female Elvis,” early and pioneering country/rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist with the teenaged hit on Sun Records, “Will You Willyum” (#38, 1956) with the B-side, “Drugstore Rock And Roll” becoming a rockabilly classic, left the industry in the late 50s to raise her son and manage a country club until the rockabilly revival of the 80s, died from lung cancer on 9/3/2007, age 67
1942 ● Jimmy Miller → Record producer and occasional session drummer on albums and songs he produced for The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the lone Blind Faith album, the Plasmatics, Primal Scream and others, including key albums by The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973), died from liver failure on 10/22/1994, age 52
1944 ● Michael Nyman → Composer, pianist, bandleader and librettist, wrote the soundtrack album to the Oscar-winning film The Piano (1993)
1944 ● Tony McPhee → Lead guitar and vocals for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1947 ● Ray Phiri / (Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri) → South African jazz, fusion and mbaqanga guitarist and vocalist best known for his collaborations with Paul Simon on the Graceland (#3, 1986) and The Rhythm Of The Saints (#4, 1990) albums and on worldwide tours that included The Concert In Central Park (1991) and an appearance on Saturday Night Live, died from lung cancer on 7/12/2017, age 70
1948 ● Cindy Scott / (Sundray Kay Tucker) → Performed and recorded under both her stage (Scott) and birth (Tucker) names, early member of 60s doo wop girl group The Ordettes, released “What Are You Doin’ To Me” as Cindy Scott & The Cousins, sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, recorded as a solo artist on various indie labels through the 00s, sister of Lynda Laurence (of The Supremes) and cousin of Tammi Terrell and Bunny Sigler
1949 ● Ric Ocasek / (Richard Otcasek) → Guitar, frontman and songwriter for synth-pop/hard rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978), solo
1950 ● Phil Lanzon → Keyboardist for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), sessions and sideman for numerous rock acts
1952 ● David Bartram → Vocals for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1953 ● Chaka Khan / (Yvette Marie Stevens) → Vocals for R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974), then solo, “I Feel For You” (#3, 1984)
1953 ● Phil Keaggy → Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music guitarist and vocalist, co-founded psych-rock power trio Glass Harp in the 60s, converted to Christianity in the 70s and released over 50 albums of CCM and mainstream pop-rock music, continues to perform with Glass Harp in Ohio and the Northeast into the 10s
1958 ● El Duce Hoke / (Eldon Hoke) → Drummer and lead singer for pioneer 80s “shock-” and “rape rock” metal band The Mentors, known for their chauvinistic, filthy lyrics and crude production, died from coroner-termed “misadventure” (hit by a freight train) on 4/19/1997, age 39
1966 ● Marti Pellow / (Mark McLachlan) → Frontman and lead singer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994), solo
1967 ● John Strohm → Drummer turned guitarist for indie rock/power pop Blake Babies, then for several other groups, including teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993) plus solo albums, now a lawyer
1968 ● Damon Albarn → Singer, songwriter and producer, first as frontman for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), then in virtual pop-rock dub band Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (#14, 2005)
1971 ● Abe Laboriel / (Abraham Laboriel, Jr.) → Berklee College of Music graduate and session and tour drummer for Steve Vai, Seal, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and others, son of renowned bassist Abraham Laboriel, Sr.
1972 ● Beverly Knight → Brit R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer, “Woulda Shoulda Coulda” (UK #10, 2002)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 10 -16)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 10
1903 ● Bix Beiderbecke / (Leon Bismark Beiderbecke) → Influential jazz pianist, cornetist and composer, proto-“cool jazz” soloist, “Singin’ The Blues” (1927), died of complications of alcoholism on 8/6/1931, age 28
1920 ● Jethro / (Kenneth C. Burns) → With partner Henry D. Haynes, one half the satirical country-pop radio and TV comedy/music duo Homer & Jethro, parodied country and pop hits and won a Grammy Award for “The Battle Of Kookamonga” (#14, 1959) , their take on Johnny Horton‘s #1 hit “The Battle Of New Orleans,” continued to perform and teach mandolin and was considered a virtuoso on the instrument, died from prostate cancer on 2/4/1989, age 68
1935 ● Dexter Tisby → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits
1938 ● Omar Shariff / (Dave Alexander) → Award-winning but obscure Texas blues singer and pianist with eight or more blues and jazz fusion albums between 1972 and 1998, found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on 1/8/2012, age 73
1940 ● Dean Torrence → One-half of the legendary surf-rock duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), the pair had 16 Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1966
1943 ● Ritchie Cordell / (Richard Rosenblatt) → Songwriter and record producer, wrote and produced “I Think We’re Alone Now” (#4, 1967) and “Mony Mony” (#3, 1968) for Tommy James & The Shondells, remakes of the two songs by Tiffany and Billy Idol traded the #1 spot 20 years later in 1987, also produced Joan Jett & The Blackhearts‘ debut album I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll (#2, 1982) and albums by The Ramones and Bow Wow Wow, died of pancreatic cancer on 4/13/2004, age 61
1945 ● Pete Nelson / (Peter Lipscomb) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), then moved over to pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1947 ● Tom Scholz → Founder, guitarist and tape wizard for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1950 ● Ted McKenna → Scottish drummer for Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975)
1954 ● Tina Charles / (Tina Hoskins) → Brit R&B/disco dance-pop singer, “I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)” (Disco #2, 1976)
1955 ● Bunny DeBarge / (Etterlene DeBarge) → With her four brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1960 ● Gail Greenwood → Bassist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1962 ● Gary Clark → With brother Kit, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1963 ● Jeff Ament → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1963 ● Rick Rubin / (Frederick Jay Rubin) → Record producer, former co-president of Columbia Records, co-founder of legendary Def Jam Records and a key player in the rise of hip-hop music, produced two of the landmark rap albums, the Beastie Boys‘ Licensed To Ill (1986) and Run-D.M.C.‘s Raising Hell (1986), renamed Def Jam American Recordings in 1993 and produced multiple albums by Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus individual albums by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty and others
1964 ● Neneh Cherry / (Neneh Mariann Karlsson) → Hip hop/dance-pop singer “Buffalo Stance” (#3, 1989), stepdaughter of jazz musician Don Cherry
1964 ● Patrick Kane → With brother Greg, vocals for Scottish contemporary dance-pop/electronica Hue And Cry, “Labour Of Love” (UK #6, 1987)
1966 ● Dave Krusen → Drummer and backing vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1966 ● Edie Brickell → Vocals and frontwoman for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989), married Paul Simon in 1992
1967 ● Susie Q / (Susan Banfield) → Vocals in female rap/house music duo Cookie Crew, “Rok Da House” (UK #5, 1988)
1971 ● Doug Ardito → Bass and guitars for post-grunge hard rock Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1971 ● Timbaland / (Timothy Zachery Moseley) → Rapper, “Up Jumps Da Boogie” (#12, Rap #1, 1997) and producer, with partner Magoo member of hip-hop duo Timbaland & Magoo, produced hits for Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, The Pussycat Dolls and others
1973 ● John Charles LeCompt → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1975 ● Jerry Horton → Lead guitar for hard rock/heavy metal Papa Roach, “Scars” (#15, Mainstream Rock #4, 2005)
1977 ● Matthew Rubano → Bassist for melodic hardcore metal Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006)
1977 ● Robin Thicke → Pop R&B and hip hop singer/songwriter, musician and sometime actor, “Lost Without U” (#14, 2007), son of actor and composer Alan Thicke
1978 ● Benjamin Burnley → Lead vocals, rhythm guitar and chief songwriter for post-grunge hard rock Breaking Benjamin, “So Cold” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Jonathan Ansell → Tenor for Brit pop vocal quartet G4, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (UK #8, 2005), went solo when the troupe disbanded
1983 ● Carrie Underwood → Grammy-winning country-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Inside Your Heaven” (#1, 2005), her album Some Hearts is the best selling solo female debut album in country music history

March 11
1903 ● Lawrence Welk → Iconic and beloved MOR easy listening/pop accordionist, bandleader, television host and impresario noted for his “champagne music” style, “Calcutta” (#1, 1961), died of pneumonia on 5/17/1992, age 89
1908 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (Aleck Ford “Rice” Miller) → Legendary blues singer/songwriter/harmonica player, recorded with Robert Johnson in the 1930s and Eric Clapton in the 1960s
1938 ● Joseph “Joey” Brooks / (Joseph Kaplan) → Screenwriter, film score composer and prolific author of advertising jingles (Geritol, Dial soap, Maxwell House coffee, and others), wrote “You Light Up My Life” for Debby Boone (#1, 1977) from the movie same name which he also wrote, directed and scored, and for which he won an Oscar and Grammy Award, was indicted in 2009 for drugging and sexually assaulting 13 women he lured to his apartment for movie auditions but escaped justice by committing suicide on 5/22/2011, age 73
1944 ● Ric Rothwell → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965)
1945 ● Harvey “The Snake” Mandel / (Harvey Mandel) → Blues-rock guitarist with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and others, plus solo
1947 ● Blue Weaver / (Derek Weaver) → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), replaced Rick Wakeman in folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), then pop-disco The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1978), the with the reformed Strawbs and session work for Stevie Wonder, Pet Shop Boys, Chicago, The Damned and others
1947 ● Mark Stein → Vocals, guitars and keyboards for psych-rock Vanilla Fudge, the Tommy Bolin band and Alice Cooper‘s band
1948 ● George Kooymans → Founder, vocals and guitar for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1950 ● Bobby McFerrin / (Robert Gaston McFerrin Jr.) → Grammy-winning virtuoso jazz, pop and classical vocalist, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (#1, 1988)
1950 ● Keith Diamond / (Keith Alexander) → Songwriter and record producer, worked with Michael Bolton, Mick Jagger, Sheena Easton, Donna Summer and others, wrote “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984) and other songs for Billy Ocean, died from a heart attack on 1/18/1997
1951 ● Katie Kissoon / (Katherine Farthing) → Vocals with her brother, Gerald Farthing, in one hit wonder easy listening/bubblegum pop duo Mac & Katie Kissoon (“Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep,” #20, 1971), then backing vocals/sessions for Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Pet Shop Boys and others
1955 ● Flinto Chandia → Bassist in Brit pop one hit wonder Jimmy The Hoover, “Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)” (UK #18, 1983)
1955 ● Nina Hagen / (Catherina Hagen) → German bandleader, songwriter and post-punk dance-pop singer, “New York New York” (Dance/Club #9, 1984), now Christian music singer
1957 ● Cheryl Lynn → R&B/disco multi-hit diva and former Gong Show winner, “Got To Be Real” (#12, R&B #1, 1978)
1961 ● Bruce Watson → Guitarist for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983)
1961 ● Mike Percy → Bassist and songwriter for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Vinnie Paul Abbott → With brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, co-founder and drummer in thrash metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994) and metal supergroup Damageplan, “Save Me” (Mainstream Rock #16, 2004), Darrell was murdered on stage by a deranged fan at a show in Columbus, OH on 12/8/2004 and Damageplan broke up, joined supergroup Hellyeah in 2006
1964 ● Vinnie Paul / (Vincent Paul Abbott) → Heavy metal drummer and co-founder with brother Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott of thrash metal Pantera (“Planet Caravan,” Mainstream Rock #21, 1994) and groove metal Damageplan (“Save Me,” Mainstream Rock #16, 2004), after Darrell died from gunshot wounds when a man stormed the stage and began firing shots at the band and crowd in 2004, formed metal supergroup Hellyeah (“Hell Of A Time,” Mainstream Rock #5, 2010), died in Las Vegas from undisclosed causes during recording sessions for the band’s sixth album on 6/22/2018, age 54
1968 ● Lisa Loeb → Contemporary folk-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Stay, I Missed You” (#1, 1994) from the soundtrack to Reality Bites (1994), voice-overs and children’s recordings
1969 ● Pete Droge → Post-grunge roots rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself)” (Mainstream Rock #28, 1995)
1969 ● Rami Jaffee → Keyboardist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996)
1979 ● Benji Madden / (Benjamin Levi Combs) → With twin brother Joel, guitar and backing vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1979 ● Joel Madden / (Joel Reuben Combs) → With twin brother Benji, lead vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1981 ● LeToya Nicole Luckett → Singer with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), quit in 1999 and eventually started a solo career, “Torn” (#31, 2006)
1981 ● Paul Wall / (Paul Slayton) → Texas rapper with two Top 10 crossover albums, The Peoples Champ (#1, 2005) and Get Money, Stay True (#8, 2007) and one major crossover hit, “Grillz” (#1, 2005) with Nelly and Ali & Gipp
1981 ● Russell Lissack → Lead guitar for indie pop-punk revival Bloc Party, “Helicopter” (Dance #5, 2006)

March 12
1910 ● Arthur Todd → With his wife in one hit wonder pop singing duo Art & Dotty Todd, “Chanson D’Amour” (“Love Song”) (#6, 1958), continued to perform on radio and in Las Vegas cabarets until retiring in 1980, died from congestive heart failure on 10/10/2007, age 97
1917 ● Leonard Chess / (Lejzor Czyz) → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Philip, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died of a heart attack a few months after selling Chess to General Recorded Tape (GRT) on 10/16/1969, age 52
1921 ● Gordon MacRae → Pop music recording artist, stage and film actor, and TV and radio personality best known for starring in the film versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956) and for a string of 28 straight Top 40 hits from 1947 to 1954, including a duet with Jo Stafford, “My Darling, My Darling” (#1, 1948), died from pneumonia on 1/24/1986
1930 ● Wardell Quezergue / (Wardell Joseph Quezergue) → Unheralded but influential New Orleans R&B bandleader, producer and music arranger known as the “Creole Beethoven,” worked with multiple artists, including The Dixie Cups (“Chapel Of Love,” #1, 1964), Robert Parker (“Barefootin’,” #7, R&B #2, 1966), King Floyd (“Groove Me,” #6, R&B #1, 1970), Jean Knight (“Mr. Big Stuff,” #2, R&B #1, 1971), Paul Simon (There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, #2, 1973) and Dr. John (Grammy-winning Goin’ Back To New Orleans, Jazz #1, 1992), died from congestive heart failure on 9/6/2011, age 81
1932 ● Don Drummond → Jamaican ska trombonist, singer and songwriter, played in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967) and writing many of their local hits, convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1965, died from disputed causes while serving a life sentence on 5/6/1969, age 37
1940 ● Al Jarreau → Seven-time, three-category (jazz, pop and R&B), four-decade Grammy-winning singer, “We’re In This Love Together” (#15, R&B #6, 1981), cancelled a tour schedule due to exhaustion and died shortly afterwards on 2/12/2017, age 76
1942 ● Larry Kassman → Lead vocals for Brooklyn-based white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961), performed occasionally in various reunion lineups of the group through the 00s
1942 ● Brian O’Hara → Guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), committed suicide by hanging himself on 6/27/1999, age 57
1946 ● Liza Minnelli / (Liza May Minnelli) → Award-winning stage, film and TV actress with dozens of credits, cabaret-style and jazz pop singer with a deep discography, best known for her non-charting soundtrack single “Cabaret” (1972), daughter of actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli
1948 ● James Taylor → Quintessential “sensitive” folk-pop/light rock singer/songwriter, “You’ve Got A Friend” (#1, 1971)
1948 ● Les Holyrod → Bassist for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977)
1949 ● Bill Payne → Keyboardist and songwriter for Southern-fired blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, Rod Stewart and others, released debut solo album in 2005
1949 ● Michael Gibbins → Drummer with Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), left in 1974 for session work, started solo career in 1998, died of natural causes on 10/4/2005, age 56
1951 ● Jack Green → Guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1957 ● Marlon Jackson → Vocals for R&B/pop-soul brother group The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), pursued a largely unsuccessful, one hit solo career, “Don’t Go” (R&B #2, 1987), now sells real estate in Southern California and produces for the Black Family Channel on TV, twin brother Brandon died 24 hours after their premature birth
1957 ● Steve Harris → Founder, principal songwriter, backing vocalist and bassist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and guitarist Dave Murray are the only two bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1965 ● Coleen Nolan → Vocals for Irish girl group all-sibling pop group The Nolan Sisters, “I’m In The Mood For Dancing” (UK #3, 1980), TV host and author
1969 ● Graham Coxon → Guitarist for alt rock then Brit pop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), solo
1975 ● Kelle Bryan → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1977 ● Ben Kenney → Bassist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), session work and Ghetto Crush Industries record executive
1978 ● Claudio Sanchez → Lead singer and guitarist for alt prog rock Coheed And Cambria, “A Favor House Atlantic” (Modern Rock #13, 2004), creator of comic book series The Amory Wars, author
1979 ● Pete Doherty → Co-founder and vocals for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), now fronting indie psych-rock Babyshambles, former paramour of model Kate Moss
1986 ● Danny Jones → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

March 13
1913 ● Lightnin’ Slim / (Otis V. Hicks) → Important Louisiana electric blues guitarist and singer, bridged country, blues and mainstream pop, “Rooster Blues” (R&B #23, 1959), stopped recording in the 1960s and worked in a Detroit foundry, rediscovered and resumed touring the U.S. and Europe in the early 70s before dying of stomach cancer on 7/27/1974, age 61
1933 ● Mike Stoller → Pianist, producer, record label owner, lyricist and one-half of the Lieber & Stoller songwriting duo, co-wrote dozens of R&B, pop and rock classics, including “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley, #1, 1956) “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters, #1, 1958) and “Love Potion #9” (The Searchers, #3, 1965)
1939 ● Neil Sedaka → Pop singer, pianist and songwriter, “Calendar Girl” (#4, 1961), plus over 30 other Top 40 hits, co-wrote the film theme song “Where The Boys Are” for Connie Francis (#4, 1961)
1940 ● Daniel Bennie → Second tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1942 ● Marshall Chess → Music industry entrepreneur, son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess and CEO following his father’s death in 1969, became founding CEO of Rolling Stones Records in the 70s and worked closely with the band and other artists, produced blues and rock documentary films, founded several independent labels and hosted satellite radio programs into the 10s
1942 ● Scatman John / (John Larkin) → Stuttering jazz and R&B/dance-pop singer and pianist who combined scat singing with dance rhythms and turned his affliction into the international Top 10 hit “Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)” (#60, Dance/Club #10, 1995), died from lung cancer on 12/3/1999, age 57
1944 ● Bobby Patterson → Dallas-based record producer and label executive, music promoter, radio DJ, songwriter and journeyman R&B/soul-blues singer, following a mildly successful 60s-70s solo career with several regional hits, produced records for Fontella Bass, Chuck Jackson, Little Johnny Taylor and others, wrote songs recorded by Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and others, issued a comeback album in 2014 (I Got More Soul!)
1949 ● Donald York → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1959 ● Greg Norton → Bassist for post-punk alt rock trio Hüsker Dü, “Makes No Sense At All” (1985), solo
1959 ● Ronnie Rogers → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)
1960 ● Adam Clayton → Bassist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987)
1972 ● Common / (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.) → Sophisticated underground jazz-rap artist, “Take It Ez” (Rap #5, 1992) and “One Nine Nine Nine” (Rap #4, 1999)
1974 ● Phil Burton → With brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney and another schoolmate, co-founder, guitar and vocals in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1977 ● Ed Sloan → Lead guitar and vocals for hard rock/power metal trio Crossfade, wrote the band’s first hit, “Cold” (#81, Alt Rock #2, 2004) which spent 65 weeks on the rock chart
1979 ● Toni Lundow → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 14
1912 ● Les Brown / (Lester Raymond “Les” Brown, Sr.) → Big Band musician, composer and bandleader, fronted Les Brown And His Band of Renown for 70 years, issued two dozens albums and appeared on stage, film and numerous TV variety programs, including USO gigs with Bob Hope and on Hope’s Christmas specials, the highest rated U.S. TV programs prior to the Super Bowl era, died from lung cancer on 1/4/2001, age 88
1914 ● Lee Hays / (Lee Elhardt Hays) → Singer, social activist, founding member and bass vocals for left-leaning, influential and successful folk-pop The Weavers, co-wrote their staples “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” (#19, 1951) and “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” (covered by Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962), collaborated on multiple albums and projects with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and other folk luminaries as well as mentoring younger folk musicians, his wish to have his ashes mixed into his backyard compost pile was fulfilled after his death from diabetic cardiovascular disease on 8/26/1981, age 67
1922 ● Les Baxter / (Leslie Thompson Baxter) → Pianist, easy listening/pop music composer, pioneer of “exotica” incorporating Polynesian and African sounds, “Poor People Of Paris” (#1, 1956), wrote the “Whistle” theme song to the TV show Lassie, died on 1/15/1996, age 73
1931 ● Phil Phillips / (John Phillip Baptiste) → Louisiana R&B/blues and swamp pop one hit wonder singer, “Sea Of Love” (#2, 1959)
1933 ● Quincy Jones → Six decade music industry giant, bandleader, producer, songwriter, film score composer and record label executive, solo artist, “Stuff Like That” (#21, R&B #1, 1978), worked with Michael Jackson for Thriller and Off The Wall
1934 ● Shirley Scott → The “Queen of the Organ,” hard bop and soul-jazz organist with over 30 albums as a solo artist and bandleader, also collaborated with husband Stanley Turrentine and Eddie “Lockjaw” David on numerous albums and projects, successfully sued the manufacturer of diet drug fen-phen in 2000 but died from heart failure caused by the drug on 3/10/2002, age 67
1943 ● Jim Pons → Bassist for The Leaves, then pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then with Frank Zappa‘s Mothers Of Invention
1943 ● “Sugarfoot” Bonner / (Leroy Roosevelt Bonner) → Founding member, frontman and lead guitarist for influential R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, R&B #1, 1975) and six other Top 40 hits in the mid-70s, issued a lone solo album (Sugar Kiss, 1985), died from cancer on 1/26/2013, age 69
1945 ● Michael Martin Murphey → Grammy-winning Western swing. light country-rock, pop ballad and cowboy song singer and songwriter, “Wildfire” (#3, 1975) and “Carolina In The Pines” (Country #9, 1985), wrote the New Mexico state song, “The Land Of Enchantment,” concentrated on cowboy themes and Western music in the 90s and early 00s, shifted to bluegrass in the later 00s and continues to record and perform into the 10s
1945 ● Walter Parazaider → Saxophonist for pop-rock Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972) and five #1 albums during the 1970s
1947 ● Jimmy O’Rourke → Guitarist and singer with blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● Jona Lewie / (John Lewis) → Brit indie/pub rock keyboards, vocals and songwriter, Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs, “Seaside Shuffle” (UK #2, 1972), then solo, “Stop The Cavalry” (UK #3, 1980)
1947 ● Peter Skellern → Brit pianist and pop/easy listening singer and songwriter, “Your A Lady” (#50, UK #3, 1972)
1950 ● Rick Dees / (Rigdon Osmond Dees III) → Comedian, songwriter, musician, Los Angeles radio DJ (KIIS-FM) and host of the syndicated Weekly Top 40 Countdown, also known for the novelty-pop single “Disco Duck” (#1, 1976)
1957 ● Chris Redburn → Bassist for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1963 ● Mike Muir → Vocals for hardcore punk/thrash metal Suicidal Tendencies, “Institutionalized” (1994)
1963 ● Steve Lambert → Vocals for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1969 ● Michael Bland → Session drummer for Prince (1989-96), Soul Asylum, Paul Westerberg, Nick Jonas & The Administration
1970 ● Kristian Bush / (Kristian Merrill Bush) → Vocals and guitars for country-pop duo Sugarland, “All I Want To Do” (#18, Country #1, 2008)
1979 ● Jacques Brautbar → Guitarist for power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002), professional photographer and collaborator in various music projects
1983 ● Jordan Hanson / (Jordan Taylor Hanson) → Keyboards and vocals for teen pop-rock brother trio Hanson, “MMMBop” (Worldwide #1, 1997)
1988 ● Colby O’Donis / (Colby O’Donis Colón) → Grammy-winning R&B/hip hop singer and songwriter, “What You Got” (#14, 2008) and “Just Dance” with Lady GaGa (#1, 2009), actor

March 15
1912 ● Lightnin’ Hopkins / (Sam John Hopkins) → Texas country blues singer, songwriter and guitarist (Rolling Stone #71), “Mojo Hand” (1960), influenced many blues-rock guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, died of esophageal cancer on 1/30/1982, age 69
1919 ● George Avalian → Russian-American jazz critic, record producer and music executive, produced jazz and popular music albums for Columbia Records and other labels with Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and others, co-founded the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (presenters of the Grammy Awards)
1921 ● Les Cooper → Doo wop singer, band manager and frontman for one hit wonder The Soul Rockets and the pounding pop instrumental “Wiggle Wobble” (#12, 1962), died 8/3/2013, age 92
1922 ● Eddie Calvert / (Albert Edward Calvert) → British solo trumpeter and instrumental composer, his biggest hit was “Oh, Mein Papa” (UK #1, 1954), died of a heart attack on 8/7/1978, age 56
1931 ● D. J. Fontana / (Dominic Joseph Fontana) → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer who played in Elvis Presley‘s backing band on over 450 songs from 1954 through the Elvis “comeback” TV special in 1968, left when Presley‘s new direction required larger bands and Las Vegas stints, became an in-demand, Hall of Fame session musician in Nashville for three decades, broke his hip in a fall and died from complications several months later on 6/13/2018, age 87
1932 ● Arif MardinAtlantic Records producer and arranger, worked with Al Green, Aretha Franklin, The Doobie Brothers, Bette Midler, Average White Band, Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones and others, died on 6/25/2006, age 74
1936 ● Howard Greenfield → Lyricist and songwriter, worked in the Brill Building in the 1960s, co-wrote dozens of hits, including “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” for Neil Sedaka (#1, 1962) and “Love Will Keep Us Together” for The Captain & Tennille, #1, 1970), co-wrote TV theme songs, including Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Hazel, died from complications due to AIDS on 3/4/1986, age 49
1940 ● Phil Lesh → Bassist and occasional lead vocals for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), the Dead spinoffs The Other Ones and Phil Lesh & Friends
1941 ● Mike Love → Lead vocals and, since 1961, the only consistent member of surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966) and “Kokomo” (#1, 1988), lone solo album in 1981
1942 ● Hughie Flint → Drummer for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then blues-rock McGuinness Flint, “When I’m Dead And Gone” (#47, 1971)
1944 ● David Costell → Guitarist for pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1944 ● Ron Stone → Music industry manager and artist advocate, handled career-development for Joni Mitchell, Eagles, Bob Dylan, America and others, currently represents the music industry in intellectual property and content rights litigation
1944 ● Sly Stone / (Sylvester Stewart) → Founder, frontman, vocals, guitar and keyboards for R&B/funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Everyday People” (#1, 1969)
1944 ● Ralph MacDonald / (Ralph Anthony MacDonald) → Trinbagonian-American percussionist, producer and songwriter, played with scores of acts including as charter member of Jimmy Buffett‘s Coral Reefer Band, best known for co-penning the Grammy winners “Where Is The Love” for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (#5, R&B #1, 1972), as well as “Just The Two Of Us” for Bill Withers and Grover Washington, Jr. (#2, 1981), among others, died from lung cancer on 12/18/2011, age 67
1946 ● Howard Scott → Co-founder and guitarist for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1947 ● Frank Lugo → Bassist for garage rock ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Ry Cooder / (Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder) → Country-folk-blues-rock session guitarist, member of supergroups Rising Sons and later Little Village, Grammy-winning solo artist
1948 ● Grizzly Nisbett / (Stephen Nisbett) → Drums for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), retired in 2001
1953 ● Preston Hubbard → Bassist for blues/swing revival Roomful Of Blues, then blues-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1955 ● Dee Snider / (Daniel Snider) → Frontman and vocals for heavy metal Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983), solo, radio DJ, VH1 DJ, TV reality show star
1962 ● Steve Coy → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1962 ● Terence Trent D’Arby (Howard) → Pop-rock one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Wishing Well” (#1, 1988)
1963 ● Brett Michaels → Frontman, songwriter and vocals for hair metal/power ballad Poison, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (#1, 1988)
1964 ● Rockwell / (Kenneth Gordy) → One hit wonder R&B/pop singer, “Somebody’s Watching Me” (#2, 1984), son of Motown Records founder and executive Berry Gordy
1968 ● Jon Schaffer → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for heavy metal Iced Earth, “I Walk Among You” (Sales #3, 2008), nominated for “Riff Lord” at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards
1968 ● Mark McGrath → Lead singer for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), TV host on tabloid show Extra and Don’t Forget the Lyrics
1972 ● Mark Hoppus → Bassist for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1975 ● will.i.am / (William James Adams, Jr.) → Rapper, songwriter, lead vocals and producer for hip hop Black Eyed Peas, “Where Is The Love” (#1, 2003), producer for Michael Jackson, U2, Britney Spears and others
1977 ● Mr. Hahn / (Joseph Hahn) → Korean-American DJ and sampler for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)

March 16
1936 ● Fred Neil → Important Greenwich Village folk scene singer and songwriter who achieved little critical acclaim but wrote several hits for others, including the Grammy-winning “Everybody’s Talkin'” for Harry Nilsson (#6, 1968), and influenced a young Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian and many others, died from natural causes on 7/7/2001, age 65
1942 ● Jerry Jeff Walker / (Ronald Clyde Crosby) → Progressive, “outlaw” country singer, wrote and recorded “Mr. Bojangles” (#77, 1968), a #9 hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1971
1948 ● Michael Bruce → Guitarist for glam/hard rock Alice Cooper band, “School’s Out” (#7, 1972), solo
1954 ● Nancy Wilson → Co-frontwoman, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for hard rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Flavor Flav / (William Jonathan Drayton, Jr.) → Court jester and rap vocals for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989)
1963 ● Stuart Kerr → Drummer for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● H. P. Baxxter / (Hans-Peter Geerdes) → Co-founder, frontman and vocals for German techno/dance/hardcore group Scooter, “Ramp! (The Logical Song)” (UK #2, 2001), the band is one of the most successful German pop-rock bands ever
1970 ● Alex Lee → Session guitarist and sideman in various alt rock, pop-rock and electronica groups, including Goldfrapp, Suede, Placebo and The Blues Aeroplanes, arranged music for Florence & The Machine, Marina & The Diamonds and the Royal Shakespeare Company, composed soundtracks for TV and film
1972 ● Andrew Dunlop → Guitarist for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1976 ● Blu Cantrell / (Tiffany Cobb) → R&B/contemporary soul singer and songwriter, “Hit ‘Em Up Style (oops!)” (#2, 2001)
1979 ● Leena Peisa → Keyboards for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners if 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1991 ● Wolfgang Van Halen → Son of Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli and current bassist for hard rock Van Halen (replaced Mark Anthony in 2006)

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